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Fierce Tropical Cyclone Winston Hits Fiji

Fierce Tropical Cyclone Winston Hits Fiji

A record-breaking storm that hit Fiji has killed at least one person.

According to CNN, a United Nations official confirmed the death. Winds reached 184 mph, power was knocked out and heavy floods were reported during Saturday’s storm.

"Winston was a monster of a cyclone," Fiji resident Nazeem Kasim told CNN. "I have not experienced anything like this before in my life, nor has my 60-year-old father."

The extent of damage and other injuries is unclear as the island is just starting to assess the storm’s power, said Sune Gudnitz, the head of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Regional Office for the Pacific.

"It is likely that smaller villages across Fiji will have suffered the most, given their infrastructures would be too weak to withstand the power of a category 5 cyclone," said Suva resident Alice Clements, a spokeswoman for UNICEF in the Pacific. "Families may have lost their homes and crops, therefore leaving them without shelter, food and a livelihood."

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama declared a state of emergency, but also added that the government is “thoroughly prepared to deal with this crisis.”

CNN meteorologist Allison Chinchar said that Winston weakened after hitting Fiji, but has since intensified again.

The storm should weaken again Tuesday or Wednesday when it comes across cooler waters, CNN meteorologist Michael Guy said.

Publication date: February 22, 2016