Flight canceled as powerful cyclone bears down on Fiji


SUVA, Fiji: Fiji warned residents to brace for an onslaught Saturday as a category five super-storm bears down on the Pacific island nation, with international flights cancelled and evacuation centres activated. “As a nation, we are facing an ordeal of the most grievous kind,” Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said in a national address. Severe tropical cylone Winston, with average winds of 220 kilometres (136 miles) per hour and gusts of up to 315 kilometres per hour, was forecast to hit the main island Viti Levu overnight Saturday, according to the Fiji meteorological office. The storm brushed by the more northerly island of Vanua Levu on Saturday afternoon, with unconfirmed reports of trees felled and roofs blown off houses. National Disaster Management director Akapusi Tuifagalele told the Fijilive website that 758 evacuation centres had been prepared in the nation of about 900,000. Fiji Airways, Virgin Australia and Jetstar all cancelled flights to the holiday hotspot, which is a popular destination for Australians and New Zealanders.


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