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Fiji braces for Tropical Cyclone Evan

Dec. 14, 2012 at 5:55 PM   |   Comments

SUVA, Fiji, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Residents of Fiji were warned Friday to get ready for Tropical Cyclone Evan, which killed at least two people when it slammed into Samoa.

Forecasters warned that Evan was becoming stronger and might be a Category 4 or 5 storm when it hits Fiji. It is expected to arrive Sunday, the Australian Broadcasting Corp. reported.

Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Fiji's interim head of state, warned that no place in the archipelago is safe. He said the forecasts suggest Evan would "affect Fiji in a very damaging way bringing about destructive winds and flooding."

"Fellow Fijians I cannot stress how serious this is, every Fijian will be affected," he added.

Fiji has 332 islands, 110 of them inhabited, but most of the population live in coastal areas on the two largest, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. The capital, Suva, is a port city on Viti Levu.

Sharon Smith-Johns, the permanent secretary for information, said Fiji is fortunate to have had days of warning about the storm and has been able to mobilize emergency services. She said many people have already left low-lying areas.

"There is quite a lot of movement around Suva especially today and around and in the rural areas," she said.

She said winds could be as high as 120 miles an hour.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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