(Edited from Xinhua, SUVA) Cyclone Tomas has destroyed at least 50 homes and 17,000 people have been evacuated to 240 shelters, Fiji Disaster Management Office said on Tuesday.

A 30-day state of natural disaster has been declared in the Northern and Eastern divisions as the tropical cyclone swept southwards. Operations manager Anthony Blake said on Tuesday communications are still difficult but at least 50 homes are known to have been destroyed and many more damaged.

(Edited from Xinhua, SUVA) Cyclone Tomas has destroyed at least 50 homes and 17,000 people have been evacuated to 240 shelters, Fiji Disaster Management Office said on Tuesday.

 

A 30-day state of natural disaster has been declared in the Northern and Eastern divisions as the tropical cyclone swept southwards. Operations manager Anthony Blake said on Tuesday communications are still difficult but at least 50 homes are known to have been destroyed and many more damaged.

 

Blake said the declaration of a state of disaster will free up resources for the affected areas, and police, army and other emergency services are being deployed.

 

There has been widespread flooding and some roads were closed. Power was also out in most parts of the Northern Division, he added. The Fiji interim government has extended a nationwide curfew until Wednesday morning.

 

The Category 4 storm, one of the worst cyclones to hit the region in seven years, lashed northern parts of the Pacific island nation on Monday, producing winds of up to 270 km/h. It was reported to have generated waves up to seven meters high off Vanua Levu, damaging the island and cutting power.

 

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