Last updated: 11:48 AM ET, Sat February 20 2016

Record-Breaking Cyclone Leaves 1 Dead in Fiji

Impacting Travel | Amy Coyne Bredeson | February 20, 2016

Record-Breaking Cyclone Leaves 1 Dead in Fiji

TravelPulse file photo

A record-breaking tropical cyclone struck Fiji on Saturday, leading to a countrywide curfew and one man dead.

The strongest tropical cyclone to hit the nation, Tropical Cyclone Winston is the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane or a super typhoon, according to AccuWeather.

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The cyclone hit the island of Viti Levu at about 6:30 p.m. local time Saturday, AccuWeather said.

“Winston is now the strongest tropical cyclone and the first Category 5 TC on record to hit Fiji,” a New Zealand MetService blog said. 

Before the cyclone hit, one-minute maximum sustained winds were estimated to be about 180 mph with gusts up to 220 mph, AccuWeather reported.

An elderly man died after a house collapsed on him, according to the New Zealand Herald

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Authorities issued a nationwide curfew that went into effect at 6 p.m. local time on Saturday, AccuWeather reported. The Fijian government also issued a 30-day State of Disaster.

According to AccuWeather, conditions will improve as the cyclone pulls away from Fiji. By Sunday, Winston will be west of Viti Levu and will head southward early next week. Once the cycle makes that turn, it is expected to weaken, AccuWeather said.


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