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Thousands homeless after Fiji cyclone

Up to 4000 Fijians are still housed in temporary accommodation and 80 per cent of the country is without power after Cyclone Mick struck on Monday.

Two people are confirmed dead and three more missing.

National Disaster Management Office director Pajiliai Dobui said the western side of the most populated Viti Levu island, had suffered most, with 2081 people evacuated from their homes, and major infrastructure damage.

Suva-based Tim Sutton, of the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef), said Mick was a “very vicious” cyclone which moved quickly and struck up to six hours earlier than expected, catching many people unprepared.

Fiji Electricity Authority chief executive Hasmukh Patel said the exact extent of damage caused was still being assessed.

“More than 80 per cent of the country is without power supply. We had to shut down the Wailoa hydro station because of the rising water level in Wailoa,” he told the fijilive news website.

The loss of electricity and water supply left the capital, Suva, and the west coast urban centres of Nadi and Lautoka deserted yesterday.

Parts of the two main roads which encircled Viti Levu were still closed.

Cyclone Mick has been downgraded to a depression and was passing over the central islands of Tonga, north of the capital of Nuku’alofa, this morning.

Winds were reported to be 30-40km/h and not expected to cause any damage.



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