Fiji closed schools and urged people to stock up on emergency supplies Wednesday as a potentially devastating cyclone was expected to hit the island nation within days.
Cyclone Yasa, a Category 5 storm, is expected to bring high-speed winds and torrential rain to Fiji’s two largest islands when it makes landfall on Friday.
“We emphasize the need for people to please, please tie down your homes, stock up on dry food, stock up on fresh water and ensure the [safety] of your children,” said Vasiti Soko, Fiji’s director of the National Disaster Management Office.
“Do not try and cross any flooded river or any flooded walkway, and minimize movement.”
The National Disaster Management Office has said about 600,000 people are directly in the cyclone’s projected path.
Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama had urged people to prepare for the storm on Tuesday.