Ferocious cyclone tears through Fiji

WELLINGTON, New Zealand -- Residents of Fiji hunkered down Saturday as a ferocious cyclone tore through the Pacific island chain, prompting authorities to impose a nationwide curfew and declare a monthlong state of disaster.

See Full Article

Wind speeds from Cyclone Winston were estimated at up to 285 kilometres (177 miles) per hour. The cyclone was tracking late Saturday along the northern coast of the main island, Viti Levu.

Fiji's capital, Suva, located in the southern part of the main island, was experiencing high winds but was not directly in the cyclone's path. The popular tourist resorts in Viti Levu's west, however, were closer to the cyclone's centre.

Flights were cancelled and authorities urged people to find somewhere safe to hunker down for the night and to not venture outside. A nationwide curfew was imposed at 6 p.m.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama wrote on Facebook on Saturday that the island's evacuation centres were operational and that the government was prepared to deal with a potential crisis.

"As a nation, we are facing an ordeal of the most grievous kind," he wrote. "We must stick together as a people and look after each other."

He said he was concerned some people in the cities weren't taking the threat seriously enough.

The government declared a state of natural disaster for 30 days, giving extra powers to police to arrest people without a warrant in the interest of public safety.

The U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center said gusts from the cyclone were reaching 350 kph (155 mph) and sustained winds up to 285 kph. Those speeds had eased slightly from earlier in the day.

The Fiji Times newspaper reported that some homes had had their roofs blown away and that five people had managed to swim to safety after their boat capsized.

The Times said there had been a run on supermarkets and stores as people stocked up on essential supplies before the cyclone hit.

Fiji is home to about 900,000 people.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Quebec trial underway for man whose pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled young girl

    Canada News CTV News
    LONGUEUIL, Que. -- A Quebec man is standing trial for criminal negligence causing bodily harm after one of his pit bull-type dogs allegedly mauled a little girl in 2015. The two-day trial began today at the courthouse in Longueuil, Que. Source
  • Internal Tory turmoil in the spotlight as Ontario legislature resumes this week

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- The sprint to Ontario's spring election begins this week as the legislature is set to resume following an unprecedented tumult that saw the official Opposition implode under the weight of its leader's resignation amid sexual misconduct allegations. Source
  • B.C. challenges Alberta wine ban under free trade rules

    Canada News CBC News
    The B.C. government is challenging Alberta's ban on B.C. wines through the Canadian Free Trade Agreement's (CFTA) dispute settlement process. According to a release, the province has notified the Alberta government that it is formally requesting consultations under the CFTA regarding Alberta's embargo on the sale of B.C. Source
  • Hedley withdraws from Juno award consideration

    Canada News CBC News
    The members of the embattled rock band Hedley say they have withdrawn from consideration for three awards at this year's Junos and plan to "talk about how we have let some people down, and what we intend to do about it. Source
  • U.S. bipartisan gun bill aims to improve compliance with criminal background checks

    World News CBC News
    The White House supports efforts to strengthen background checks for gun purchases in the wake of last week's shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla. The White House said on Monday that U.S. President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases, five days after a shooting at a Florida school killed 17 people. Source
  • Trump backs efforts to bolster FBI gun checks

    World News CTV News
    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- U.S. President Donald Trump offered support Monday for an effort to strengthen the federal gun background check system as he hunkered down at his private Florida golf course just 40 miles from last week's deadly school shooting. Source
  • Quebec man arrested in 2002 Alberta slaying

    Canada News CTV News
    AIRDRIE, Alta. - A Quebec man has been arrested in the slaying of a 21-year-old woman 16 years ago. The body of Adrienne McColl was found on a rancher's field in February 2002 about 85 kilometres south of Calgary. Source
  • Calgary roller-skating rink closes its doors after more than 5 decades of operation

    Canada News CTV News
    A line of people wrapped around Lloyd’s Recreation on its final day of operation Sunday. Over the past few weeks, thousands of skaters have visited the Calgary roller-skating rink before its official closure after 53 years. Source
  • 'More than just a skin blemish': Calgary-led study indicates new acne diagnoses linked to depression risk

    Canada News CBC News
    Dermatologists and other doctors treating acne should keep an eye on patients' mood symptoms as well, and start treatment or make a psychological referral if depression is present, according to new study. (Acne and Rosacea Society of Canada) Source
  • Toronto firefighter who disappeared in NY, wound up in California returns home

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - The president of the union representing Toronto's firefighters says a fire captain who was found in California after vanishing from a New York state ski slope is back in Canada. Frank Ramagnano says Constantinos (Danny) Filippidis made a brief stop in Lake Placid, N.Y. Source