One dead, more than 2,500 evacuated as Cyclone Sarai lashes Fiji

by Reuters
Sunday, 29 December 2019 02:19 GMT

Trees buffeted by strong winds are seen near a beach during tropical cyclone Sarai in Viseisei, Fiji December 27, 2019 in this picture obtained from social media. YOGACHARYA P R MOHANAN /via REUTERS

Image Caption and Rights Information

Cyclone Sarai is expected to move into Tongan waters on Tuesday, triggering a heavy rain and flash flood warning

By Will Ziebell

MELBOURNE, Dec 29 (Reuters) - One person was killed in Fiji and one is missing as tropical cyclone Sarai battered the South Pacific nation with strong wind and heavy rain, authorities said on Sunday.

The Fiji National Disaster Management Office said one person was in intensive care and more than 2,500 people had moved to 70 evacuation centres.

The category two tropical cyclone is not expected to make landfall in Fiji, though its weather service has issued storm and flood warnings for parts of the country.

"Close to its centre the cyclone is expected to have average winds of up to 110km/hr with momentary gusts to 150km/hr," the Fiji Meteorological Service said in a statement.

Cyclone Sarai is moving east at nearly 10 kmh (6 mph) and is expected to move into Tongan waters on Tuesday.

Tonga's Meteorological Service has issued a heavy rain and flash flood warning for the entire country.

(Reporting by Will Ziebell Editing by Robert Birsel)

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.