Much of Fiji blacked out, 4,000 homeless after cyclone
Wellington, Dec 16 - More than 80 percent of Fiji was without electricity and nearly 4,000 people remained in evacuation centres Wednesday in the wake of Cyclone Mick, according to reports from the capital Suva.
The island state began assessing the damage after the first cyclone of the season brought winds gusting to 150 km an hour and torrential rains to much of the country Monday and Tuesday.
The cyclone may be responsible for five deaths, with two people reportedly washed away by floodwaters, two fishermen missing after going out in a boat despite weather warnings and an 18-year-old youth killed by a falling tree.
The nation's food crops were severely damaged, the Reserve Bank's governor Sada Reddy said Wednesday, warning that the price of vegetables and other foods was bound to rise, the Fiji Times website reported.
"The cyclone may have some adverse effects on tourism and agro-based industries," Reddy said. "The full impact on the economy is difficult to assess at this stage but it will have some downside effects." (dpa)