Fiji battered by Cyclone Evan

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

Cyclone Evan has wrecked homes, brought down trees and caused flooding across Fiji's main island.


Have you been affected by Cyclone Evan in Fiji? Email your newstips, photos and videos to newstips@stuff.co.nz

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

The biggest cyclone in 20 years to hit the Pacific island nation is believed to have been destroyed a number of homes in Fiji’s second largest city, Lautoka, in western Viti Levu.

Tonight power was cut and land and mobile phone lines went down, but before they were lost, there were reports of major damage.

On the northern coast of Viti Levu, flood waters hit Ba, Raikiraki and Tavua.

In Suva Harbour, two container ships have run aground and are struggling to stay afloat as they’re pounded by rough seas, coinciding with a 10pm high tide.

There were no reports of death or injury.

By 11pm the cyclone had moved south of Nadi and winds in the area have eased, MetService said.

Storm-force winds were still forecast for Fiji, though these are expected to ease overnight, and by the morning the cyclone will have moved south of the country, meteorologist Bill Singh said.

It was still too early to predict if the storm would reach New Zealand, but early models say the tail-end of the cyclone, a deep low, could reach the upper North Island on Saturday, he said.

The Fiji Times reported police officers across Fiji had restricted the movement of people in and out of the main towns and cities until 6am tomorrow, to protect businesses from those who may want to take advantage of the situation.

STORMY: The cyclone sweeps Onto Suva Point, on Viti Levu.
STORMY: The cyclone sweeps Onto Suva Point, on Viti Levu.

Tourist resorts on many of Fiji’s palm-fringed islands were evacuated and authorities set up more than 60 evacuation centres.

Before phone contact was lost, Wellington lawyer Janet Mason said the upper part of her house in Lautoka had been destroyed.

She had said the weather was extreme and dramatic.

She said an empty house had flown through the air and landed beside hers.

"Another house has completely disintegrated, its roof is in the trees."

Debris is everywhere and much of it is flying through the air.

"Everything is going, all the trees are being destroyed, there will be nothing left."

In her own home, the roof was coming off and she was losing windows.

"It's really bad, it never stops. The wind is howling so strong and it is raining, except the wind is so strong you cannot see the rain.”

Fiji Times editor-in-chief Fred Wesley said Lautoka city looks like a war zone.

“It's something a lot of people there never expected. They didn't expect the cyclone to hit them to that extent," Wesley said.

"According to people on the ground ... they have never seen anything like this.

"Very, very strong winds, waves, rain, but I think what's worrying was the very, very strong winds," he said.

"For buildings to lose their roofs like that, it's a reflection of how powerful the cyclone was."

So far there had not been any reports of casualties as a result of the storm.

A massive clean-up was expected.

"We are waiting for this to go before we start moving around, but from the reports that we've managed to get from our teams on the ground this is not looking good at all," Wesley said.

Fiji police tonight imposed a curfew across Viti Levu in a bid to stop any movement of people.

Fiji authorities have lost contact with the areas of Levuka and Kadavu.

In the capital, Suva, a container ship and a bulk carrier were struggling to stay afloat in wave surges of up to five metres and while the immediate concern is for their crews, any shipwreck would pose an environmental disaster.

Both the 14,000 ton bulk carrier ship Starford and the Singapore-flagged Capitaine Tasman, 9725 tons were at anchor while aground but appeared to be struggling without any help from tugs.

Photos show the stranded Capitaine Tasman is heavily laden with containers. She appears closest to shore.

Cyclone Evan, which has already wrought WST$300 million (NZ$157 million) damaged and left four people dead and 12 missing in Samoa.

A Foreign Affairs Ministry spokeswoman said 526 New Zealanders were registered in Fiji.

STORM: The eye of Cyclone Evan appears to the west of the Fiji Islands in this radar picture from 7.50am.
STORM: The eye of Cyclone Evan appears to the west of the Fiji Islands in this radar picture from 7.50am.

FLIGHTS POSTPONED

All flights into and within Fiji were grounded this morning. Air New Zealand said today's flights to Nadi had been delayed until tomorrow.

A spokeswoman said NZ752, which would normally depart Auckland at 10.15am and then return to Auckland as NZ753, would leave a day later.  

Fijian airline Pacific Sun had put a halt to all flights between Suva and Nadi to Labasa, Taveuni, Savusavu and Kadavu.The rescheduled departure time for NZ752 is now 12.30pm tomorrow. The regular scheduled Tuesday flight to Nadi (NZ52) will still operate at its regular departure time of 06.50am.

KIWI KIDS CAUGHT


Christchurch pupils were hunkering down in a Fiji hotel.

Ten Middleton Grange pupils were in Fiji completing mission work when the cyclone warning came.

Three pupils managed to catch the last flight back to New Zealand yesterday, but seven had to stay overnight in Fiji with school staff as the flights were overbooked. The year 13 pupils were aged 17 and 18.

Teacher David Gillon said the storm was expected to reach its height about 8pm.

"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," Gillon said.

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

DESTRUCTION IN SAMOA
Evan last week destroyed much of Samoa's capital Apia and left a death toll of at least four with a further eight people missing.

Yesterday it transformed from a category 3 cyclone to a 4, on a 5-point scale, and powered across the French islands of Wallis and Futuna

The head of the Wallis and Futuna administration's cabinet, Benjamin Gerard, says Wallis felt more direct impact than Futuna.

"About 20 houses have been damaged," he told Radio New Zealand International.

"It's the roads that have been damaged... and damages have been to infrastructures rather than to people. The most important thing is that not a single death or casualty has really been caused."

GETTING CLOSER: Cyclone Evan nears Fiji as seen in this latest photo from Samoa Met Service.
GETTING CLOSER: Cyclone Evan nears Fiji as seen in this latest photo from Samoa Met Service.

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