300km wide cyclone Evan forces thousands to flee

Added by on December 17, 2012

Cyclone Fiji struck Fiji on Monday

Cyclone Evan struck Fiji on Monday

Cyclone Evan made landfall on the western part of Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu, near Nadi, a city with a population of about 42,000, on Monday.

Current wind speeds are approximately 270 km/h (168mph), making it a category four storm, with widespread damage and power outages reported.

The storm formed last week, on Wednesday December 12, and struck Samoa on Thursday.

More than 3,000 people in Fiji were moved to evacuation centers as the storm approached. A storm warning for all of Fiji’s islands was issued ahead of the storm’s arrival

All flights into and out of Fiji have been canceled and many tourists are stuck in area hotels as they cope with the storm’s effects that include closed roads, fallen trees, and flying debris of destroyed houses.

The international airport is crowded with people that were evacuated from resorts and all commercial banks closed at noon (23:00 GMT/UTC) on Monday. Local police are advising people to remain at home, or in shelters, between 06:00GMT to 17:00GMT (19:00 to 06:00 local time).

Fiji is an archipelago made up of more than 300 islands with 110 of those permanently populated. Fiji’s population is approximately 870,000.