A powerful cyclone that left at least four dead as it ripped through Samoa late last week caused flooding and structural damage when it hammered Fiji on Sunday, The Daily Telegraph is reporting.
The worst of Cyclone Evan, the first tropical cyclone of the season in the South Pacific, seems to have passed, but the storm left a path of destruction as it made its way through Wallis and Futuna, Tonga, American Samoa, Samoa and Fiji.
Fijian authorities scrambled to evacuate more than 8,000 residents and tourists in low-lying areas on Sunday, and airlines suspended flights in and out of the country. Two ships ran aground near the entrance to Suva Harbour as 160 mile per hour winds hammered the Fijian capital.
The storm is said to be the worst cyclone to hit the island in 20 years. It caused flooding, structural damage and downed power lines, but so far there have been no reports of deaths or serious injuries in Fiji.
Four deaths have been confirmed from Samoa, where 10 people remain missing and thousands of people have been left homeless.
To see more of the damage in Samoa and Fiji, click through the gallery below.
A recent discovery made by divers in Tonga could hold a missing puzzle piece to an age-old mystery. A local diver in the Ha’apai group of islands last month found wreckage believed to be a pirate vessel containing treasure that sank in 1806.
The Port-au-Prince, a British privateer, was attacked by local warriors after arriving in Tonga, with King Finau ‘Ulukalala II ordering the crew to be massacred. However, the Tongans saved most of the iron and cannon on board before the king ordered the ship to be scuttled.
“It is believed that a considerable amount of copper, silver and gold is resting with the wreck, along with a number of silver candlesticks, incense pans, crucifixes and chalices,” tourism ministry spokeswoman Sandra Fifita told news.com.au.
As of now, divers are thoroughly mapping out the underwater location. According to diver Darren Rice, who has visited the site, if it is the Port-au-Prince then it’s the most important shipwreck in Tonga’s history. Moreover, while the treasure will be buried now and difficult to get to, divers are positive it is there.
[image via Jessica Festa]
Did the latest episode of Travel Talk inspire you to dive with whales? Love to travel and learn about the environment at the same time? Then break out your typewriter, because Trazzler has great opportunity for you!
Trazzler is partnering up with Seacology, an award-winning eco-friendly charity, to offer two contestants a 10-day trip on the South Pacific island of Tonga. The winners will voyage aboard one of the world’s top dive and snorkel boats, the NAI’A – in one of the few locations in the world where humans can swim with humpback whales.
So what do you need to do in order to win this trip of a lifetime? In less than 160 words, share an experience that highlights ‘smart travel’. As travelers, we have the opportunity to do good and go deeper; to volunteer, get embedded in local culture, pursue environmentally friendly modes of travel or lodging, or promote economic growth in developing regions. This is smart travel, and Trazzler wants to hear your smart travel stories.
There’s no official deadline; the contest will be over when the community reaches milestones that are measured by sharing, number of participants, and new facebook / twitter followers. Check out the official contest rules for complete information!
Photo courtesy of Seacology
The All Roads Film Project is one of those very special, very wonderful National Geographic events which any traveler worth their salt will truly love.
The project was launched four years ago “to provide an international platform for indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture artists to share their cultures, stories, and perspectives through the power of film and photography.”
Man, you can’t go wrong with that mission statement.
And, National Geographic hasn’t.
The spectacular results of the project can be seen this upcoming weekend (October 4-7) at the All Roads Film Festival being held at the National Geographic headquarters in Washington D.C.
The festival will feature films from Finland, Bolivia, Kurdistan, Denmark, Australia, Ethiopia, India, Mexico, Tonga and many more places on this planet you might only be able to visit through film. But, if you miss it in D.C., don’t worry; you can catch the festival next month in Sante Fe, New Mexico starting November 28.