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Fiji Time: 10:49 PM on Sunday 20 April

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Residents flee town

Salaseini Moceiwai
Thursday, February 07, 2013

A TSUNAMI warning in place for Fiji prompted the early closure of some government departments, shops, schools and the municipal market in Labasa yesterday.

At 3.45pm, the town turned into a ghost town as students, civil servants and members of the public made their way home.

Labasa special administrator Vijay Chand said it was only proper for people to adhere to such warnings for their own safety.

"People have been advised to respond positively to the warning as a directive has been issued from government," Mr Chand said.

"We have sent all the town council workers home and also closed the market because we don't want people to take the risk."

Mr Chand said people's safety was of paramount importance.

A Ministry of Information statement said that a tsunami warning was issued for the whole of Fiji.

However, the Department of Mineral Resources cancelled the warning late in the afternoon.

The warning was issued after a magnitude 8.0 earthquake hit the islands of Santa Cruz in the Solomons.

The first wave was predicted to hit Fiji at 4.05pm.