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Fiji - Tropical Cyclone WINSTON - ECHO Daily Map | 22/02/2016

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TC WINSTON reached Vanua Balavu island (eastern Fiji) on 19 Feb, as a very intense Tropical Cyclone (max. sustained winds of the order of 270 km/h), then it continued moving west, passing over Koro island, strengthening further. It reached the province of Ra (north-eastern Viti Levu) on 20 Feb, with max. sustained winds of 280-290 km/h. After it crossed northern Viti Levu and it started moving over the Pacific Ocean, still as an intense Tropical Cyclone. It is currently moving south-southeast, between Vanuatu and Fiji, weakening.

• Over the next 24-48 h it is forecast to continue moving southeast, then turn southwest and start moving away from Fiji on 24 Feb. Locally heavy rains and winds may still affect some areas of Fiji on 22-23 Feb, as well as Tafea province (Vanuatu).

• During its passage, very strong winds, heavy rains and storm surge affected Fiji, causing damage and deaths. Media reported 21 people dead, thousands homeless and over 800 houses destroyed, as of 22 Feb.

• The Republic of Fiji has made a general request for assistance to the international community. On 23 Feb an ECHO expert will arrive in Fiji to assess the humanitarian impact of the cyclone and advise on the need for humanitarian assistance.

• The European Commission's Emergency Response Coordination Centre (ERCC) activated the Copernicus Emergency Management Service for satellite maps on 19 Feb.