Fiji battens down for Cyclone Evan
Monday 17 Dec 2012 10:44 p.m.
Fijian authorities are urging residents in western coastal areas to stay where they are, as a tidal surge hits the area battered by Cyclone Evan.
And tonight even police around Fiji are having trouble contacting their western division after the storm took out powerlines, uprooted trees and ripped off roofs.
The storm hit Nadi like a missile attack at midday, stripping branches off trees and pulling roofs off houses.
Those brave enough to stay outside were told to find shelter. At home, they secured what they could and got ready to evacuate, while others grabbed essentials and fled.
More than 3,000 people are staying in evacuation centres around the country.
In Denarau, thousands of tourists hunkered down in hotels.
Every window at the Hilton resort was taped up, and supplies were delivered to Kiwis preparing to ride it out
Those in small villages near Tavua, at the top of the island, have less protection against the 120kph winds and driving rain lashing their buildings.
Residents were forced to abandon their homes and seek shelter in their unfinished community centre, while outside the wind howled – sparking fears the flying debris could cause injuries.
At the community centre the elderly listened to updates from their portable radios, while the young battened down the hatches and rounded up the animals.
They will have to stay there for a few days, with what supplies they've managed to take with them
And when it's safe to emerge, the village that greets them will not be the one they left.
Watch the video for the full report.
If you wish to make a donation to those affected by Cyclone Evan, text “Evan” to 4741 to make an instant $3 donation to the Fijian Charitable Trust.