SUVA, Feb. 14 (Xinhua) -- Ten homes were fully destroyed and 26 others partially damaged, but no casualties or injuries have been reported so far after tropical cyclone Gita hit the southern islands of Fiji on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Fiji's Director of the National Disaster Management Office Anare Leweniqila said the Office of the Divisional Commissioner Eastern would deploy teams aboard government vessels as soon as the weather permits, according to a press release by Fiji's Department of Information on Wednesday.
"We have received initial reports from village headmen indicating that housing and agriculture are the sectors with the most damages. We will deploy multi-sectoral assessment teams with immediate relief supplies to verify reports on the ground," Leweniqila said.
As of later Wednesday, 288 evacuees were currently situated in five evacuation centers in the southern islands. The figures are expected to drop as clearing and cleaning of debris continues in the affected areas.
Tropical cyclone Gita brought winds of up to 275 km per hour and heavy rain across Ono-I-Lau and Vatoa, Fiji's southernmost islands, knocking out communications.
Leweniqila said crops on the southern islands had been damaged, but Fiji's most populated centers escaped serious harm as Gita passed south of Fiji's capital, Suva.
As tropical cyclone Gita begins to exit Fiji waters, the Fijian government's focus is to complete damage assessments and respond to immediate needs in the southern islands.
In 2016, Fiji, which has more than 300 islands, was hit by tropical cyclone Winston that killed 44 persons and caused extensive damages.
Gita caused extensive damage in Samoa and American Samoa over the weekend, and hit Tonga hard on Monday night, causing widespread destruction and flooding.
Forecast tracking by Tropical Storm Risk had the cyclone moving westwards and then heading south, avoiding New Caledonia.