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11 Apr 2020 | 08:26 PM UTC

Fiji: Power outages reported following Tropical Cyclone Harold April 11 /update 3

Thousands reportedly affected by power outages following Tropical Cyclone Harold on April 11; communication disruptions ongoing



On Saturday, April 11, thousands of people in Fiji remain without electricity after Tropical Cyclone Harold made landfall on Wednesday, April 8. State-owned utility, Energy Fiji Limited (EFL), has stated that power lines on the islands of Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, and Ovalau have been disrupted following the cyclone. The disruption is estimated to have affected around 80 percent of Fiji's residents. EFL Chief Executive Officer Hasmukh Patel has stated that power should be restored to the affected areas by Monday, April 13. The National Disaster Management Office has confirmed that a 66-year-old man from Kadavu Island is Cyclone Harold's first fatality. 

The Fijian government is conducting damage assessments as of Thursday, April 9, following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Harold to the south of the country on Wednesday, April 8. Authorities have asked the public to remain indoors as security forces clear debris and cordon off areas affected by flooding. The worst affected area is Kadavu where structural damage has been reported, however, flooding as a result of heavy rainfall was also reported in Ba, Lautoka, Suva, and Tavua. Damages have also been reported on the Lomaiviti and Lau island groups. At least 2000 people sought safety in emergency shelters and evacuation operations were undertaken in Western Division. Disruptions to communications were reported in the country's outer islands such as Kadavu. Authorities have also advised the public to boil drinking water in order to combat the spread of infectious diseases. 


Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.

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