Cyclone strikes Fiji

Fiji residents took cover as Cyclone Ami ripped through the northern islands.

BY SUSAN KIM | BALTIMORE | January 14, 2003


Fiji residents took cover as Cyclone Ami ripped through the northern islands.

Hardest hit was the main island of Vanua Levu, which was battered by 115-mph winds. Some 200,000 people reside there. Floodwater levels reached at least four feet, and were followed by an apparently massive storm surge.

The cyclone also hit the Lau islands, according to reports from the prime minister's office.

Representatives from Fiji's disaster management department were conducting aerial assessments Tuesday. They predicted that damage to cane fields would be extensive.

Communications were still cut off Tuesday. Dozens of evacuation centers across the area remained open.

New Zealand and Australian government reports indicated both those countries intend to offer aid.

Cyclone Ami is the second cyclone to hit the South Pacific in the last couple of weeks. Earlier this month thousands of people on the Solomon Islands survived Cyclone Zoe, which spawned 190-mph winds.


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