After causing severe damage and at least four casualties in Samoa, Tropical Cyclone Evan moved on to Fiji in mid-December 2012. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite captured this natural-color image on December 16 as Evan’s spiral arms stretched over Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.
On December 17, the U.S. Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) reported that Evan was located roughly 15 nautical miles (30 kilometers) southwest of Nadi. The storm had maximum sustained winds of 115 knots (215 kilometers per hour) and gusts up to 140 knots (260 kilometers per hour). The JTWC forecast map issued the same day showed Evan turning southward in the direction of New Zealand.
Residents of Fiji took precautions as the storm approached, installing hurricane shutters and cutting down tall trees, The Fiji Times reported on December 16. The storm nevertheless caused widespread damage in Fiji. On December 17, Stuff.co.nz reported damaged and destroyed homes, downed trees, cut power lines, container ships run aground, and grounded flights. At the time of that report, however, no casualties had yet been reported in Fiji.
NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz, LANCE MODIS Rapid Response. Caption by Michon Scott.