The Straits Times
Published on Dec 17, 2012

Fiji braces for cyclone, tourists evacuated, flights cancelled


CANBERRA (REUTERS) - The Pacific island nation of Fiji was bracing for its biggest cyclone in 20 years on Monday after the same storm hit nearby Samoa late last week, destroying houses and killing four people around the capital, Apia.

Tourist resorts on many of Fiji's palm-fringed islands have been evacuated and authorities have set up more than 60 evacuation centres, warning people to take shelter ahead of Tropical Cyclone Evan.

The category four cyclone is expected to bring destructive winds, rain and possible flooding to areas of Fiji, and pass to the north-western side of the main Fiji islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with wind gusts up to 270kmh.

Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has ordered public servants to remain at home and has put emergency services on standby.