World Cyclone Gita: Homes destroyed on Fiji's Ono-i-Lau island

04:16  14 february  2018
04:16  14 february  2018 Source:   radionz.co.nz

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Outlying islands in the Fijian Lau Islands were significantly affected, particularly Ono - i - Lau and Crops were largely destroyed .[34] Fifty-two homes were completely destroyed on the island ; eight ^ " Cyclone Gita moves away from Fiji but communication lost with islands in Southern Lau group".

Ono - i - Lau and Vatoa, in the Southern Lau island group between Fiji ' s main islands and Tonga suffered from gales, heavy rain and coastal flooding when Gita Fiji ' s National Disaster Management Office said it has received reports that three homes were completely destroyed on Ono - i - Lau .

Fiji's National Disaster Management Office says it has received reports that three homes have been completely destroyed on the southern Lau island of Ono-i-Lau.

Cyclone Gita was earlier upgraded to a category five - the highest possible.

The office's director, Anare Leweniqila, said damage assessments were on-going, but so far there were no reports of casualties or injuries on Ono-i-Lau.

"We have only received reports of three completely destroyed houses and we are just working around trying to ascertain the nature of these structures."

Mr Leweniqila said it was unclear if the homes were Fijian bures, made of corrugated iron or wood.

Maritime Police were currently travelling from Lakeba by boat to check on the residents of Vatoa Island as there has been no communication with them yet since the cyclone passed, he said.

There will be aerial reconnaissance over the southern Lau group of islands to further assess damage later today.

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Cyclone Gita is now on the doorstep of the island nation of Fiji as locals report strong winds and powerful swells are beginning to batter the small island nation. Fijian Waisale Naga, who is on the main island , said winds were beginning to build in strength and the swell of the ocean was continuing

Help is now on the way for people living on the islands of Ono - i - Lau and Vatoa that were affected by Tropical Cyclone Gita #FijiNews.

The government would be mobilised soon to offer support for those affected, Mr Leweniqila said.

Cyclone Gita moving west

Cyclone Gita is moving into waters to the south of Vanuatu and to the north of New Caledonia.

Fiji Met Service said the cyclone had sustained winds of 203km/h at its centre, with gusts of up to 285km/h.

"The cyclone is currently located about 220km south of Kadavu - that's the island within the southern parts of Fiji.

"The cyclone has actually intensified into a category five system as of this morning and it is gradually moving westwards at a speed of 15km/h an hour," forecaster Rajneel Prasad said.

Strong wind warning for other Fiji islands

A gale warning remains in force for the Fiji Islands Ono-I-Lau, Vatoa, Matuku, Totoya, Moala, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands but is cancelled for the rest of the islands in the southern Lau group.

The cyclone warning for the islands was cancelled at about 10pm yesterday when Gita veered to the south.

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