Luke Freytt from Tauranga, who started the Fijian Charitable Trust, has set up a fundraising campaign to help with relief work after cyclone Evan.To make an instant donation of $3, text Evan on 4741.All funds go to the Trust to help people in Fiji. More information on Facebook.
Tropical Cyclone Evan has passed Fiji, however, authorities are still warning of strong winds and large swells this morning.
Fiji has been battered by 270km/h winds, which uprooted trees and homes, ripped roofs off buildings and caused widespread power and water outages yesterday.
The Fiji Meteorological Service said the category 4 cyclone was centred about 165km south of Nadi at 4am today, and is moving south-southwest. It is forecast to lie about 290km south of Nadi by 4pm today.
A hurricane warning for the Coral Coast, Vatulele, and nearby islands has been cancelled, as has a storm warning for the Mamanuca group.
However, a gale warning remains in place for the Coral Coast, Kadavu, Beqa, Vatulele and nearby islands, with momentary gusts up to 110km/h possible, and a strong wind warning and a damaging heavy swell warning remain in force for Fiji.
More than 3000 Fijians sheltered in evacuation centres and tourists sat tight in boarded-up hotels, as Fiji entered darkness and the worst of the storm.
With winds stirring up massive swells, two ships ran aground near the entrance to Suva Harbour.
Sangay Prakash of the Fiji Meteorological Service said heavy winds between 60 and 110 knots had hit the Nadi and Lautoka areas with "destructive force".
He said the most damaging winds were expected overnight.
Yesterday, there were reports of more than 12 houses being blown away in Lautoka, and families lost all their belongings.
A resident in the area said of the 18 homes there, only five houses remained standing, Fiji Village reported.
Nadi, where hundreds of New Zealanders were sheltering in boarded-up hotels, was expected to endure hurricane-force winds until early this morning.
Steve Delany, holidaying at Denarau Island, told 3 News that despite the wild weather, he felt as safe as was possible in the situation.
New Zealander Michael Toms, who has lived in Fiji for nearly 45 years, said his Pacific Harbour house had been pounded by high winds all day, bringing down a tree and a clothes line in his back garden.
He was worried about high tide because a river which ran beside his property was already carrying large amounts of brown water.
"We used to always say, not as bad as Bebe, but this is now the benchmark we're going to remember as the worst."
Joanna Underwood of Nadi said she had eight family members at her home, and friends who had flood-prone homes were arriving.
"We have nothing else to do here at the moment except stay inside and watch the wind blow everything outside."
The Fiji Government imposed a curfew for all public transport, which prevented any vehicles from operating overnight. It is feared Evan could be as devastating as Cyclone Kina, which killed 23 people and left thousands homeless in 1993.
On its projected track, Evan's centre was expected to keep just offshore of the west coast of Viti Levu before gradually turning south from early this morning.
Prime Minister John Key said the Government was bracing itself to hear what destruction would be caused.
Avishil Mudaliar raises the Fijian flag at Above and Beyond Education and Care Centre as he thinks of his extended family in cyclone ravaged Fiji.
Avishil now lives in New Zealand, but his extended family are from Ba, which took the brunt of cyclone Evan last night. His father, Avanish, said he was talking to his brother as the cyclone tore through and destroyed his neighbour's house. Since then he has been able to contact them.
A text number has been set up to provide an opportunity to donate to the Fijian relief fund. Text 'Evan' to 4741 for an instant $3.00 donation to the Fijian Charitable Trust.