Cyclone in Fiji kills 1 with 5 more missing

Monitoring Desk

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — A cycle that hit the Pacific nation of Fiji on Sunday has left one person dead, five more missing and thousands in shelters.

Authorities said Monday that more than 10,000 people were sheltering at 300 evacuation centers after Cyclone Ana made landfall on the main island of Viti Levu. The cyclone created flooding across parts of the island, including in the capital, Suva.

The National Disaster Management Office reported that a 49-year-old man had drowned, while four fishermen and a toddler were missing.

Fiji’s Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama pointed to climate change as a cause of recent deadly storms.

“Today, my priority is on Fijians’ safety — but the rest of the world needs to wake up and reckon with why this is happening,” Bainimarama wrote on Twitter.

Fiji was still recovering from an even more powerful cyclone that hit in December. That storm, Cyclone Yasa, killed four people, with a fifth person listed as missing.

But while people remained displaced Monday, the country was also trying to quickly get back to normal. Schools remained closed but other civil servants were told they should report back for work unless they’d been directly affected by the cyclone. That move angered some people

Soon after Cyclone Ana made landfall, wind gusts were hitting 140 kilometers per hour (87 miles per hour), according to the Fiji Meteorological Service. During Cyclone Yasa, which destroyed dozens of homes, winds topped 200 mph.

Located about one-third of the way from New Zealand to Hawaii, Fiji has a population of about 930,000.

Courtesy: AP News