15 Dec 2009

Two people missing in Fiji following cyclone

6:41 am on 15 December 2009

The police in Fiji will resume a search this morning for two people swept away on the main island of Viti Levu, as Cyclone Mick hit the area.

The cyclone hit the popular tourist destinations of the Yasawa and Mamanuca islands yesterday, before tracking across Viti Levu, bringing with it heavy rain and strong winds.

A police spokesman Atunaisa Sokomuri says the storm has now passed Suva and it has stopped raining.

He says a search for the missing pair failed to find any sign of them last night and teams will go out again this morning when it gets light.

Fiji's met service says a gale warning remains in force for Kadavu, Lomaitivi, Lau and Moala Group.

A strong wind warning remains in force for southeastern half of Viti Levu.

It says Tropical Cyclone Mick was located about 215 kilometres southeast of Nadi or 115 kilometres south-south east of Suva at 3am this morning.

The cyclone is estimated to have average winds of 80 kilometres and hour with momentary gusts to 100 kilometres an hour.

The cyclone continues to move southeast at 20 kilometres an hour.

Destructive winds will begin a few hours before the centre of the cyclone passes overhead or nearby.