This is turning out to be the WORST cyclone in southern hemisphere history, with winds up to 325 km/hr (200 mph)
Fiji's Lau group pounded by Winston
The Fiji Meteorological Service says islands in the Lau group are now feeling the effects of tropical cyclone Winston.
Taveuni right now
Evacuation centres open
#TCWinston hasn't arrived yet but already people are posting up photos like these http://on.fb.me/1QpF2rs
#Fiji disaster emergency officials briefed on progress of TC Winston & the prepared response by each agency
Winds in Fiji have been reprorted as high as 325 km/hr (200 mph)
communication cut, as
Winston tears through Fiji
A nationwide curfew was imposed and a state of emergency declared in Fiji on Saturday as cyclone Winston slowly moved through the country with winds gusting as high as 325 kilometres an our.
Communication was also cut to some of the outer islands as they were hit by the category five cyclone, which is predicted to be one of the most destructive to have ever hit the country of close to one million people.
The strongest cyclone ever
observed in the Southern
3 pm Saturday (Fiji): According to JTWC's database, Cyclone WINSTON is now the strongest cyclone ever observed in the S Hemisphere-- stronger even than Cyclone MONICA of 2006. The JTWC estimates WINSTON's maximum 1-minute winds are 160 knots (185 mph/295 km/hr). For comparison, here are the max cyclone winds estimated/recorded in other basins:
* Hurricane PATRICIA (2015) - EPAC: 185 knots
* Super Typhoon HAIYAN (2013) - WPAC: 170 knots
* Hurricane WILMA (2005) - NATL: 160 knots
(Winds estimated in Typhoon NANCY (1961) and Hurricane ALLEN (1980) have have not been reanalyzed and are not included. The 1935 hurricane in Florida USA is also estimated to have had winds of 160 knots.)
Note these speeds have increased to 325 km/hr (175 knots)