Five killed in Fiji cyclone

Suva, Feb 21 (IANS) At least five people were killed as severe tropical cyclone Winston left a path of destruction overnight in Fiji, Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama said on Sunday.

Winston, a category 5 tropical cyclone — the highest possible level — swept through Fiji between the islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu with wind gusts of over 320 km per hour, tearing roofs, uprooting trees and cutting power supply as well as communications, Xinhua reported.

The government has declared a 30-day state of natural disaster and imposed a nationwide curfew.

Schools around the country were directed to be closed for a week.

The curfew remains in effect till 5.30 a.m. Monday, Bainimarama said, adding that the move was aimed at protecting lives and property.

Evacuation centres across the country have been opened for the public, and disaster relief teams were working hard to help people resume normal life.

The authorities were assessing the extent of damage to property.

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