A few days ago, Cyclone Cliff ripped through Fiji and this storm hit Taveuni as well. It is unusual for Taveuni to take a direct hit, perhaps once in a decade. But it does happen and it seems more frequently - climate change anyone? The good news on Taveuni is that there was no loss of human life. The bad news is mostly for farmers who lost entire crops of dalo, yanqona, and others.
I received a report and some pictures from my friend "A" who lives in Taveuni Estates, which is on Taveuni's northwest coast. I offer them here, edited a bit for clarity. I also will just use first initials of people mentioned rather than full names. My minor clarifications are in italics.
A's On the Scene Report:
Here are some pictures of the damage after cyclone "Cliff" made a direct hit on Taveuni. Weather satellite showed it right on top of Matei yet the center of the island such as Soqulu (Taveuni Estates) probably had the most damage. We had no warning at all from radio or television. Many people are criticizing the authorities.
Many Fijian homes were destroyed along with crops. No real damage to any of our homes (in the Estates) except the "M" home under construction which had about 7 sheets of metal peeled back.
Cyclone "Cliff" had sustained winds of 80 kilometres per hour gusting to 130 kph!
The "G" property had huge tree fall down its driveway but no damage to any buildings. Will take the caretaker weeks to get rid of all remains of tree and stump.
My driveway took 3 men and 3 chain saws nine hours solid to clear so cars could get in and out. It might take 3 months to get rid of all debris. 60% of my garden was flattened.
The Coast Road was blocked to traffic in about 10 places between Soqulu (the location of Taveuni Estates) and town. It was cleared in one day.
P's Villa only had a million coconuts lying on the ground with palm fronds that were picked up the next day. He did not lose one tree! Lucky guy.
Everyone's boats are OK.
and flattened areas like a tornado went through.