Fijians urged to prepare well for possible tropical cyclone

2021-01-29 10:36:30 GMT2021-01-29 18:36:30(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

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SUVA, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- The Fijian government urged people to prepare well for severe weather on Friday as a category 1 cyclone might be developed by Saturday morning.

A tropical cyclone warning remains in force for Fiji as tropical depression 05F is located 530 km north west of Nadi, Fiji's third-largest city.

Acting Director for Fiji Meteorological Services Terry Atalifo said on Friday that they anticipated that the tropical depression would develop into a category 1 cyclone by Saturday morning.

The cyclone is moving east at about 13 km per hour and is expected to track southeast towards Fiji in the next 24 hours. People can expect winds of up to 95 km per hour from Friday night.

Fiji's Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama on Friday called on Fijians not to take storms lightly, saying that Fijians need to prepare now as, in previous years, it was the storms Fiji does not expect that can strike the hardest.

"Prepare as you always would. Shutter your homes, move to higher grounds and store water. Keep a 48-hour emergency kit on hand and make sure you know where your nearest evacuation center is located," he said.

The Fijian authorities are preparing for the storm's arrival. The National Disaster Management Office has urged Fijians to store enough water and food, and move to safe places such as evacuation centers set up by the government.

As a precautionary measure, all schools in Fiji closed while all maritime transport has been suspended from 6:00 p.m. local time on Friday.

Last December, tropical cyclone Yasa hit Fiji, killing four people and causing extensive damage to houses and schools, especially in the northern part of the island nation.

The tropical cyclone season in the South Pacific region runs between November and April every year and Fiji was predicted to experience up to three tropical cyclones during the current season. Enditem