SUVA, Fiji -- Emergency officials in Fiji said Cyclone Gene had killed at least six people Tuesday with 90 mph winds that flattened buildings, Radio New Zealand reported.
Spokesman Pajiliai Dobui of the National Disaster Management Office told the broadcaster half of the country's population of more than 900,000 had been affected by a loss of water or electricity.
Among the deaths were two linesmen struck by falling high-voltage cables, the Fiji Electricity Authority said. Two other deaths were caused by drowning, another was from falling debris injuries and the sixth was caused by a fire sparked by a candle, the report said.
Fiji's Meteorological Service said the storm was likely to intensify as it moved west toward Vanuatu over the next 36 hours.
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