A deadly Pacific storm slammed into Fiji yesterday, tearing off roofs and flooding towns, after leaving a trail of destruction in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.
Tropical Cyclone Harold weakened slightly overnight from a scale-topping Category Five to a Four, but was still lashing Fiji with winds of up to 240 kilometres per hour (150 miles per hour), forecasters said.
The official NaDraki weather service said the cyclone was offshore south of Fiji's main island Viti Levu, but passing closer to land than initially expected.
Harold claimed 27 lives in the Solomon Islands last week, and on Tuesday ripped through Vanuatu, destroying much of the country's second-largest town Luganville.
The cyclone formed off the Solomons last week. Latest forecasts say it will brush past Tonga today, still at Category Four strength, before petering out over the sea by the weekend.