17 Dec 2012

Evan bearing down directly over Fiji's western Viti Levu

2:08 pm on 17 December 2012

Tropical Cyclone Evan is bearing down directly on the western coast of Fiji's Viti Levu island, bringing heavy rain and winds of up to 270 kilometres per hour.

In Samoa, the cyclone has already caused what's been described as an inland tsunami through parts of the capital, Apia, but in Fiji's northern division conditions are still too bad to allow a damage assessment to be carried out.

Power in Nadi has been turned off as a precaution as the town prepares to receive the full force of Evan within the hour.

The director of the Fiji Met Service, Alipate Waqaicelua, says the storm has slowed down, increasing its power as it moves through the sea passage between the Yasawa Islands and the western coast of Viti Levu.

"Which places it in a very bad situation as far as Viti Levu and Yasawa are concerned, because that is going to bring the rain and the strongest winds which are hurricane force winds or storm force winds right over the main centres of the western division."

Alipate Waqaicelua says the cyclone will batter the western division for about another 10 hours as it moves south towards the island of Kadavu.