5 Apr 2007

Tropical Cyclone Cliff batters Lau group of islands in Fiji's east

9:44 am on 5 April 2007

Tropical Cyclone Cliff has been moving through the Lau group of islands in Fiji's east after hitting the main northern islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni.

A gale warning is in force for the southern Lau islands, with the storm's center near Kabara.

The system has brought heavy rain and the Fiji Times reports that a 30-year old woman was swept away as she, her husband and three children were trying to cross a flooded river at Nawaicoba near Nadi in the west.

In the North, a landslide hit a hostel near Udu Point in the east of Vanua Levu but the students are safe.

Some damage to buildings, roads and food gardens was reported from Taveuni and eastern Vanua Levu last night but details were sketchy with communications to many remote areas still cut off.

This is the third time this year that flooding has hit Fiji's north where more than 20 deaths were reported earlier.