Fiji declares emergency as Cyclone Winston strikes…”wind speeds of 325km per hour (kph).”…(WOW!)

Saturday, February 20, 2016
By Paul Martin

Residents warned to seek refuge from storm likely to be the Pacific island nation’s most powerful on record.
20 Feb 2016

Fiji has declared a state of emergency as the South Pacific island nation experiences the strongest storm ever recorded there.

Cyclone Winston is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane, with wind speeds of 325km per hour (kph).

Fights have been suspended and the prime minister has urged people to seek shelter from the storm, expected to be country’s most powerful on record.

After twice drenching outlying islands in nearby Tonga last week, Cyclone Winston reintensified on Saturday and was bringing winds of 230kph, with gusts of up to 325kph as it moved west towards Suva, Fij’s capital.

Al Jazeera’s Senior Meteorologist Richard Angwin said Winston would be the “most powerful storm to hit the island state in recorded history”.

“Every one of Fiji’s islands will feel Winston’s effects,” he said.

Netani Rika, a journalist, told Al Jazeera from Suva it was unclear how much damage Winston had done to the island.

“We are told that Winston is heading now to sea and the worst for our area is pretty much over,” she said.

“But I think it won’t be until the sun is up before we are able to see the extent of devestation left by this Category 5 storm.”

‘Terrible event’

The Rest…HERE

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