AUCKLAND: A state of natural disaster has been declared for parts of Fiji as the clean-up from cyclone Evan begins.
Thousands of people took refuge in evacuation centres overnight, as the cyclone pounded northern Fiji, causing flooding and extensive damage. Roads were closed and power and water supplies were cut.
Light lost as Evan howls
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Light lost as Evan howls
Trees have snapped and power cuts have plunged residents into darkness as tropical cyclone Evan strikes Fiji.
No fatalities were reported from the cyclone, which battered the western parts of Viti Levu for more than 12 hours on Monday.
A state of natural disaster was declared for the western and northern divisions by the Prime Minister, Frank Bainimarama, on Tuesday, which was expected to be in place for 15 days, The Fiji Times reported.
Warnings were also issued to people living in the low-lying areas around the Rewa River in Fiji's central division, which burst its banks and was flooding some areas. However, the weather had calmed down in other areas and the clean-up had begun.
Meanwhile, a search for 10 fishermen missing from four fishing boats after the cyclone struck Samoa late last week was called off on Tuesday morning.
A Royal New Zealand Air Force P3 Orion, a French Navy Guardian aircraft and the Samoan police have spent the past three days searching for the boats, but did not find any sign of the men. Four people were known to have died in the cyclone, and about 5000 people had been displaced.
Damage to the main island of Upolu appears to be worse than from the 2009 earthquake and tsunami that killed 135 people.
The New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister, Murray McCully, said the government would make $NZ600,000 ($484,887) immediately available to support relief and recovery efforts in Samoa, including $NZ50,000 pledged on Saturday.
Five additional New Zealand Red Cross workers will also travel to Samoa to help. Mr McCully said the government would also consider further requests to help Samoa's long-term reconstruction effort.
Cyclone leaves destruction in Fiji
Residents in Fiji assess damage and start the clean-up after Cyclone Evan swept through the Pacific nation.
The government will make $NZ50,000 available immediately to Fiji, along with $NZ170,000 to the Fiji Red Cross.