Cyclone leaves Fiji with six dead and power cut

Other News Materials 30 January 2008 02:18 (UTC +04:00)

( dpa )- Tropical Cyclone Gene moved off Fiji early Wednesday leaving behind six dead, thousands without power and water, and evacuation centres filled with families driven from their homes by flooding, according to reports received in New Zealand.

The category 2 cyclone did massive damage to infrastructure on Fiji's main island Viti Levu , where winds gusting up to 150 kilometres an hour brought down power lines, plunging many areas including the capital, Suva, into darkness, Radio New Zealand reported.

Two linesmen were killed when they were hit by falling power lines near Lautoka , a person drowned in a swollen creek in Suva and another died when a candle lit during the blackout set fire to a house.

A woman died in a Suva hospital of injuries sustained during the storm, and another victim was killed while fishing.

People living on the second island, Vanua Levu , were also left without basic services as the cyclone moved off Fiji.

Fiji's Meteorological Service said Cyclone Gene was likely to intensify to hurricane status as it moved across the Pacific to Vanuatu, where it was expected Thursday morning, Radio New Zealand said.