Sunday, April 01, 2012

Update cyclone approaching Nadi

from w
Isa Fiji, what a terrible time Fiji is having. Here's an update from two news media as a cyclone approaches Nadi today. Our family were sent home twice from Virgin in Melbourne even with boarding passes in their hands. Some planes apparently were going empty to Fiji to pick up stranded tourists but I doubt it any planes can go now. Govt warning from Fiji - no more tourists at present.
from Fiji Village:
Tropical Cyclone Daphne forms to the west of Nadi
Publish date/time: 02/04/2012 [16:13]

The tropical depression to the West South West of Nadi has now formed into a tropical cyclone. The cyclone has been named Daphne by Nadi Weather Office Director, Alipate Waqaicelua.

A gale warning remains in force for Viti Levu, Yasawa and Mamanuca group, Southern Lau group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands.

A strong wind warning remains in force for the rest of the Fiji group.A severe flood warning remains in force for all major rivers, streams, and low lying areas of Viti Levu.

Tropical Cyclone Daphne was located near 19 decimal 4 South, 171 decimal 7 East or about 635 kilometres West South West of Nadi at midday today. Close to the centre, the depression is expected to have average wind speeds of 55 kilometres per hour. Daphne is moving South East at about 25 kilometres per hour. It is expected to intensify further and people will experience damaging gale force winds over Viti Levu, Yasawa and Mamanuca group, Southern Lau group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands from later today into tonight although Daphne will not make landfall over Fiji. The most noticeable effect soon will be the strengthening of winds over Western Fiji.

Heavy rain is expected as we go into tonight so please be prepared for that. Prolonged rain is expected from tonight to about midday tomorrow due to the amount of rain bands associated with the system.

There is a very high possibility of heavy rain pushing rivers above the flood levels again.

You have to take necessary precautions now and please do not leave it to the last minute and act when the flood waters have reached your doorsteps. Make an assessment in you are living in flood prone areas and take action now.

Severe flooding of major rivers, streams and low lying areas including sea flooding of low lying coastal areas is expected later today and tonight.

Nadi Weather Office Director Alipate Waqaicelua looked at the weather system in the last hour and he said there are many rain bands over many parts of Fiji will result in a lot of rain this afternoon. You need to also get ready for gale force winds from this afternoon.

Waqaicelua said the people in the Western division need to be prepared now as they will record levels of rain going into tonight. There is also a need to monitor the levels at Vaturu Dam.
Story by: Fijivillage Team
From AFP

NADI: Fiji struggled to cope Monday with devastating floods that have brought the country to a standstill with warnings that it could get worse as an incoming storm threatens to become a cyclone. A state of emergency was declared in the South Pacific nation on Sunday as flash floods claimed at least three lives and forced 8,000 people to seek refuge in evacuation centres.

Fiji has “had a bashing”, permanent secretary of information Sharon Smith Johns said, with water and power supplies cut in most areas and many roads closed.
“Regardless of whether we get a cyclone or not, we could get hit with more rain and more flooding,” she told Radio Australia.

Meteorologists have warned a tropical depression is forming which could turn into a cyclone, and Nadi Weather Office director Alipate Waqaicelua issued a fresh heavy rain warning.

“We are going to get further rain, more heavy rain from this system,” he said.
As the weather brought the island nation to a halt, cutting road access and isolating communities, holiday resorts struggled to cope with the Fiji government asking airlines not to fly in passengers until further notice.

International flights were arriving empty to take stranded visitors out of a country heavily reliant on its tourist industry.

“This is very bad for Fiji, it will take a long time to fix up and get the tourists back,” taxi driver Mohammad Yakub said as he surveyed the devastation.

He said his family was surviving on tinned food as all the crops in his small plot of land had been destroyed and his local market was unlikely to reopen for weeks.
“I don’t know what people will eat. They will have to bring food in soon,” he said.
Although Fiji has not called for international assistance, Australia and New Zealand said they were ready to help.

The regional powers have had a fractured relationship with Fiji since naval officer Voreque Bainimarama seized control in a 2006 military coup.

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key said they would work with non-government agencies rather than Bainimarama’s regime.

“Typically what we’ve done in the past is give the resources to a non-government organisation on the ground we trust, say the Red Cross, rather than give it to the government to administer,” he told Radio Live.

“Yes, we disagree with the formation of that government through force but we have a long history with Fiji, we love their people and we are going to support them.”
When some roads reopened in a respite from the rain Monday morning, fleets of minibuses headed out to pick up tourists stranded at resorts which were reported to be running low on food supplies.

About 2,000 Australian and New Zealand holidaymakers are estimated to be waiting for flights out. - AFP

Read more: Cyclone feared in flood-ravaged Fiji - Latest - New Straits Times

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