Fiji Battered by Tropical Storm Evan

More than 3,500 people in Fiji were evacuated to emergency shelters Monday as the biggest cyclone in 20 years swept across the Pacific island nation, a mere three days after the storm killed four people and destroyed thousands of homes in Samoa, NBC News reported. Authorities said Cyclone Evan generated destructive winds, torrential rains and was likely to lead to flooding due to a storm surge with wind gusts up to 170 mph. According to Fiji's weather bureau, Cyclone Evan was rated a category 4 storm, the second highest level. "I cannot stress enough how serious this is. Every Fijian will be affected but we must take preventative steps now," Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said. Public servants were ordered to stay home and emergency services were put on standby. Meanwhile, hospitals and health centers have been closed for all but emergency patients. Power supplies were also cut to some areas as a precaution against falling power lines. According to, storms of this magnitude in Fiji have been relatively rare, with only 12 category 3 cyclones recorded in the last 40 years.

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