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Tropical Cyclone Tomas slams Fiji

From Andreena Narayan, for CNN
Trajectory of Cyclone Tomas.
Trajectory of Cyclone Tomas.
  • Storm strikes Fiji's northern islands
  • Category 4 storm expected to hit Fiji by Tuesday evening
  • Storm expected to sideswipe main island
  • Resident: Schools, banks closed; capital hit with heavy rain
  • Fiji
  • Weather
  • South Pacific

(CNN) -- Tropical Cyclone Tomas battered Fiji's northern islands on Monday evening with gusts of up to 275 km/h (170 mph) and heavy rain, but weather officials had not received immediate reports of damage.

The Category 4 storm is the second-most destructive on a five-point scale. As it heads southeast, it is expected to sideswipe the main island, Viti Levu. The South Pacific nation's capital, Suva, is on that island.

"The closest it will come is 200 km (124 miles) to the east of Suva," said Alipate Waqaicelua, forecaster for the Nadi Tropical Cyclone Center.

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Still, the storm inundated the capital with heavy rain and strong winds. Authorities imposed a nighttime curfew. Schools have been ordered closed till Thursday, and banks were shuttered till Tuesday, said resident Moses Waqavonovono.

"Squatter houses have been blown away in the gusting winds," he said. "The stronger structures will take a hard hitting tomorrow."