Winston not only was the first Category 5 tropical cyclone of record to hit Fiji, but earlier Saturday afternoon, became the strongest tropical cyclone of record in the Southern Hemisphere by maximum winds, peaking with 185 mph winds estimated by the JTWC, according to Colorado State University tropical scientist, Dr. Phil Klotzbach.
The tropical cyclone's eye is now pulling away from Viti Levu, and conditions will slowly improve as Winston pulls westward out to sea, then bends to the south-southeast by Sunday and Monday, posing no further threat to other land areas.
It's also fairly rare for any tropical cyclone to affect Fiji.
Tonga Double Whammy
The first strike on Tonga from Winston left damage behind. According to Matangi Tonga Online, trees and power lines were brought down and homes were damaged in Vava'u, but officials said they haven't confirmed any injuries from the storm's first pass. Hundreds of residents went into shelters during the storm, and hurricane-force wind gusts were reported on the island early Tuesday morning, Matangi Tonga Online also said.