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Powerful Cyclone Winston Hits Fiji, Killing at Least Six

Ferocious cyclone Winston sweeps Fiji late on Saturday, leaving at least six people dead and destroying homes.

Business owners take down signage in Suva, Fiji, ahead of cyclone Winston's landfall on Feb. 20, 2016.

CLEMENTS / UNICEF HANDOUT / EPA

People are splashed by a wave whipped up by the encroaching cyclone Winston in Labasa, Fiji on Feb. 20.  

Category 5 tropical cyclone Winston hit Fiji late Saturday. The powerful storm packed winds of 230 kph (143 mph) that gusted up to 325 kph (202 mph).

WATCH VIDEO: Devastating Tropical Cyclone Slams Into Fiji

Luke Rawalai / Fiji Times via AP

Road workers remove a fallen tree blocking a road near Lami, Fiji on Feb. 21, after cyclone Winston ripped through the country.  

Cyclone Winston tore through the Pacific Island chain over the weekend, and was considered to be the strongest storm in the Southern Hemisphere since record-keeping began, according to the Weather Underground.

Jonacani Lalakobau / Fiji Times via AP

Cyclone Winston flattened houses in Ba, Fiji. The picture is made available on Feb. 21.

EPA

Buildings are severely damaged at an undisclosed location in Fiji, after the most powerful cyclone hit the island nation. 

Power, water and communications services were cut across much of the country of almost 900,000 people.

FIJI RED CROSS / via AFP - Getty Images

A mother holds a child as she looks on at the remains of a house in Ba, Fiji on Feb. 21. Most of Fiji was without electricity Sunday and residents were told to stay inside for a second straight night as officials scrambled to restore services and assess damages.

NAZIAH ALI / AFP - Getty Images

People line up in a supermarket in Suva, capital city of Fiji, ahead of cyclone Winston's landfall on Feb. 20. Suva escaped the worst of its destructive power after the storm changed its path at the last minute.

Alice Clements / via AFP - Getty Images

A tree in the center of Fiji's capital Suva lays in ruin after Cyclone Winston swept across Viti Levu Island, on Feb. 21.

Reuters

A service station lays in ruin after Cyclone Winston swept through Ba on Fiji's Viti Levu Island on Feb. 21.

Many flights had been cancelled on Saturday, but the airport reopened Sunday to allow emergency flights.

via Reuters

A hospital in of Ba lays ruined after the cyclone on Feb. 21.

The Fijian government declared a 30-day state of natural disaster, which gives extra powers to police to arrest people without a warrant to maintain social order.

STRINGER / Reuters

Buildings and trees are damaged in Ba, on Fiji's Viti Levu Island, on Feb. 21.

Authorities said three people on the island of Viti Levu were killed in the storm, but didn't have more details, according to the Associated Press.

STRINGER / Reuters

Fijian men clear a road of a fallen tree in Suva after Cyclone Winston swept across Viti Levu Island, on Feb. 21.

Reuters

Cyclone Winston has cause massive destruction in Ba, Fiji.  

EPA

A view of the city Ba, which is on Fiji’s Levu Island, after the storm calmed on Feb. 21.

Spokeswoman for UNICEF Alice Clements told reporters that there was particular concern for people on the northern part of the main island and on smaller islands. She said that many would have lost their homes and livelihoods.

Reuters