Chch pupils hunker down for storm

01:39, Dec 17 2012
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Trees are down in the Tiavi area, Cross Island Road.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
A walkway at the airport in Apia collapsed as Cyclone Evan started pounding Samoa.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
The storm rips through Samoa.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan hits Apia.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan hits Apia.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan hits Apia.
Samoan cyclone
Cyclone Evan is seen forming in this NASA handout image.
Samoan cyclone
Evan hits Manono Island.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Cyclone Evan hits the capital of Samoa, Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in the Samoan capital, Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in the Samoan capital, Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in Apia.
Cyclone Evan hits Samoa.
Cyclone Evan hits Samoa.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding during Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Swimming pool at Pasefika Inn in Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
In front of the Pasefika Inn.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Infront of the Central Bank of Samoa building. All pulu trees in downtown Apia have been uprooted.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in Lepea, on the island of Upolu.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
A view from Radio Polynesia at Savalalo
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
This bridge was badly hit by floods.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Flooding in downtown Apia from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the Samoan capital, Apia, from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the from Cyclone Evan in the Samoan capital Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage in the from Cyclone Evan in the Samoan capital Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
Damage from Cyclone Evan in the Samoan capital Apia.
Cyclone Evan in Samoa
The projected path of Cyclone Evan.
Samoa, cyclone Evan
Devastation in Samoa.
Samoa, cyclone Evan
Devastation from cyclone Evan

Christchurch pupils are hunkering down in a Fiji hotel as Cyclone Evan moves in, bringing strong winds and rain.

Ten Middleton Grange School pupils and three staff have taken shelter in a hotel near Nadi Airport as the cyclone moves closer to the island of Viti Levu.

Three pupils managed to catch the last flight back to New Zealand last night.

Cyclone Evan in Fiji
A satellite image of the storm bearing down on Fiji.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Winds in Lautoka.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Suva point as Cyclone Evan starts making landfall in Fiji.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Cyclone Evan approaches.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Nadi at lunchtime.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Beaches roughed up by Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
People gather together in shelter from the cyclone.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Spirits are high for some in Fiji as they take shelter from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Winds punish the shoreline.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
A man is helped to shelter from Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
The only noise on the roads in Fiji is the howling of high winds.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
The sea crashes ashore as Cyclone Evan strikes Fiji.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
A landslide near Suva.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Flooding from Cyclone Evan in Wailea settlement, Fiji.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Vatuwaqa bridge area is flooded as Cyclone Evan arrives in Fiji.
ships
The Starford and Capitaine Tasman aground in Suva Harbour.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Fiji's Denarau Island after Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone evan in fiji
Damage from Cyclone Evan in Fiji's Denarau.
Cyclone evan in fiji
Damage from Cyclone Evan in Fiji's Denarau.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
The Wailotua road covered was flooded.
Cyclone Evan in Fiji
Mosese Tikoi at his home in Natokalau village which had its roof ripped off by Cyclone Evan.
Cyclone Evan fiji
A destroyed village in Fiji.
Cyclone Evan fiji
Cyclone Evan was strong enough to uproot these wind turbines.
Cyclone Evan fiji
Damaged planes at an airport in Fiji.
Cyclone Evan fiji
Damage from Cyclone Evan at a resort in western Fiji.
Cyclone Evan fiji
Destroyed beach front properties in Fiji's west.

Cyclone Evan, a category 4 storm on a five-point scale, has been pounding areas of Fiji with high winds and rain, after devastating swaths of Samoa.

Authorities have urged people in Nadi, which is low-lying and has been flooded twice this year, to make for higher ground.

Middleton Grange teacher David Gillon said the storm was expected to reach its height about 8pm, with winds of up to 270kmh likely.

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Middleton Grange pupils in Fiji
ESCAPE ROUTE: Ten students from Christchurch's Middleton Grange School, camped out in Nadi Airport, had hoped to get a flight home before cyclone Evan struck. Only three were able to get on the plane.

"The winds are increasing; they're bending coconut trees. Fronds are falling to the ground. What we're doing is just staying in the hotel simply for safety reasons because things are falling around us," he said.

He said the pupils were safe in the hotel and were handling the situation "very responsibly".

Middleton Grange principal Richard Vanderpyl said he was "quite confident" they were safe.

His daughter, Lucie, is one of the pupils still in Fiji.

"What's happened in Samoa has given them an indication of what to expect, but you really don't know what's going to happen until the cyclone hits," he said.

One of the three pupils who flew back last night, Ashleah Kirk, 18, said that before she left the weather was calm.

"There was no wind whatsoever. It was actually kind of creepy," she said.

She said there was a "mixture of emotions" among those who left.

"I probably wouldn't have minded staying but I'd been sick in Bounty Island,'' she said.

''I miss being with them. I wanted to share the experience with them. I kind of wish everyone got on the plane, but I know they'll be all right."

The group has been in Fiji since December 7 and was due to return home yesterday. The other members of the group are now expected to fly back tomorrow, depending on the weather.

 

 

 

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