Monday, 15 March 2010 12:41 PM

Hurricane Tomas Batters Fiji

Fiji is currently experiencing gale force winds and heavy rainfall brought on by Hurricane Tomas which is currently passing over the Fiji group, having already claimed one life.

According to Fiji Times Online, 90 evacuation centers in the country's northern division are accommodating 5000 people.

Evacuation centers are also operational all over the country as the country braces itself for the full wrath of the hurricane.

The hurricane is reportedly 'making its way through the northen parts of Vanua Levu and nearby smaller islands with destructive hurricane force winds' with authorities advising 'those in the Lau islands (the eastern-most part of the country) to take precautionary measures' after a review of Tomas' path saw it shift slightly southwards, turning it towards the Group.

According to Fiji Times Online, the hurricane blew off roofs and damaged homes in some parts of the country and has already claimed the life of a 31 year-old woman when waves swept her and family members three metres from the beach to sea.

The country's Disaster Management Office (DISMAC) is monitoring the situation, having 'moved early yesterday to evacuate all villagers from low-lying coastal areas as threats of sea surges mounted'.

All schools and businesses remain closed today and until further notice while a curfew is in place for the northern parts of the country and will come into force at 8pm tonight in the Central and Eastern Divisions, which includes the capital city, Suva.

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