Fiji braces for cyclone that killed 3 in Samoa

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Associated Press

Posted on December 15, 2012 at 8:33 PM

SUVA, Fiji (AP) — The Pacific island nation of Fiji is bracing for a cyclone that earlier ripped through Samoa, leaving at least three people dead, eight missing and thousands homeless.

Fijian authorities said Sunday that nearly 400 people on the island of Vanua Levu had evacuated to emergency shelters. Cyclone Evan is expected to hit Sunday night in northern Fiji, likely missing the more populous south, including the capital, Suva.

The storm caused widespread destruction in Samoa on Thursday. The Samoa Observer newspaper says up to 4,000 people were left homeless.

On Sunday, New Zealand authorities were using a plane to search for eight Samoan fishermen who went missing in the storm. Authorities say the men were in three boats, each about 9 meters (30 feet) long and with outboard motors.

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