Although it is cyclone season, it has also been wet simply from persistent rain.
The centre of the severe tropical cyclone passed to the west of Fiji’s main island, Viti Levu, at midnight GMT on Tuesday. National Disaster Management Office Director Anare Leweniqila said the cyclone caused flooding in the Western Division of Viti Levu but it was more severely felt on nearby Kadavu.
Kadavu, just to the south of Viti Levu suffered a direct hit soon after with the destructive winds wiping out homes, uprooting trees and capsizing boats on the south side of the island. Many villages lost their houses completely.
Twelve hours later it ran close to one of the smaller southern islands, Ono-I-Lau.
As a severe tropical cyclone, it briefly produced gusts of 170 kilometres per hour. The outer islands of Tonga caught gale force winds and thundery rain
Leweniqila said at the height of storm over 6,000 people sheltered in 115 evacuation centres around the country. He said businesses and some schools had reopened on Viti Levu and buses were running in an effort to return to normality.
With thanks to Radio NZ and Fiji Met Office.
SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies