Many thanks to Wendy of the Fiji/Australia blog "Babasiga" for the wake up call on this important story to which, though Fiji has been much on my mind of late, I had been totally oblivious.
Cyclone Tomas is plowing its way through Fijian waters today between the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni, so far leaving one woman dead (she was swept into the sea by waves after saving her two children) and will continue to pummel the islands for another day or so even as it moves away to the south.
Peceli and Wendy's "Babasiga" - the dry land of Macuata in northern Fiji - is on Vanua Levu, while Pandabonium's land is on Tavueni. There seems to have been adequate warning, and thousands of people evacuated to shelters, so the loss of life has been limited to the one instance as far as we know so far. Damage to homes and crops can have a long lasting effect on people's lives, however, so we'll have to wait and see how the affected areas fare.
Winds have reached 130 mph and waves were reported at 25 feet. The storm is expected to diminish from a category 4 to a 3, still nothing to trifle with.