Saturday, February 20, 2016

Powerful Cyclone Makes Landfall in Fiji

Fiji's government has declared a nationwide curfew as a powerful cyclone bears down on the Pacific island nation of 900,000.

With the center of Cyclone Winston yet to hit the two main islands, Fiji is already being struck with winds of 220 kph, and gusts surpassing 300 kph.

International flights have been canceled and hundreds of evacuation centers have been set up.

Fiji Prime Minister Vorege Bainimarama told Fijians, "As a nation, we are facing an ordeal of the most grievous kind. We must stick together as a people and look after each other. Be alert and be prepared."

Fiji's meteorological service warned residents in the nation's east to "expect very destructive hurricane-force winds."

Weather service spokesman Neville Koop said, "The potential for devastation is high and there is a very real risk that people will lose their lives."

The United Nations humanitarian agency UNOCHA said Winston will likely bring "destructive winds, heavy rains, dangerous storm surge and a high risk of both flash and river flooding."


  1. Fiji starts clean-up after cyclone devastation...

    Fiji has launched a clean-up after the most powerful cyclone in the Pacific island-nation's history left a trail of destruction, killing at least six people, destroying homes and damaging infrastructure.

    The storm struck the popular tourist destination overnight Saturday, packing wind gusts of 325km per hour, according to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

    OCHA said six people were killed during cyclone Winston, the first storm system to hit Fiji measuring a maximum category five.

    "Homes have been destroyed, many low-lying areas have flooded," Frank Bainimarama, prime minister, said earlier on Sunday in a statement.

    "In the aftermath of this great tragedy, many are without power and full access to water, and are cut off from communication.".....

  2. At least 20 people have lost their lives due to severe tropical cyclone Winston, authorities announced Monday...

    Akapusi Tuifagalele, director of the National Disaster Management Office, confirmed the latest nationwide death toll.

    Meanwhile, officials confirmed to the government- owned Fiji Broadcasting Corporation that seven fishermen from the Yasawas group of islands in Fiji's western division are missing at sea. The fishermen went out to sea on Friday and have not been heard from since.

    Fiji has declared a state of natural disaster for a period of 30 days. A curfew imposed during the cyclone was lifted Monday morning.

    China's Ministry of Commerce has declared that it is working on a plan to provide emergency humanitarian assistance to Fiji.


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