5 Apr 2007

Cyclone Cliff headed for Tonga

1:59 pm on 5 April 2007

The Fiji Met Service says the risks to Fiji from Cyclone Cliff have subsided as the cyclone is now heading towards Tonga.

The winds at its centre are about 85 kilometres per hour, with gusts of about 110 kilometres per hour.

A spokesperson for the Fiji Metservice, Vive Biukoto, says Cyclone Cliff is now east of the Lau Islands group, and heading south east at about 25 kilometers per hour.

"Most of the effect on Fiji has decreased now, most of the islands that were on gale warnings are are expected to drop to strong wind warnings in the next hour. For Tonga the alert is on just for the Tongatapu group and the Eua Island."

The office of the Northern Commissioner says the worst of cyclone Cliff is over for Fiji's northern division.

A spokesperson for the office, Vili Ravai, says the storm hit mainly parts of Udu Point and Taveuni Island and three evacuation centres had been opened in the Taukavesi district.

Flooding in low lying areas and damages to crops, those are what we received. There's been some landslide in some of the remote areas but it has not affected traffic, since it's in isolated place.

Mr Ravai says assessment teams have been sent out to the affected areas, and a clearer extent of the damages will be known tomorrow.

A spokesman for the Taveuni police says no casualties have been reported, and there have been few reports of damage to buildings.

Damage is mainly on plants only, and the farm and the trees. Two houses, they got roof flied off. We just going around and we trying to visit all the area out in Taveuni to see if we can help those who suffer from this storm yesterday.