Fiji braces for Cyclone Tomas
Fiji braces for Cyclone Tomas (stuff.co.nz)
Fiji is bracing itself for what experts fear is going to be a brutal storm, passing right across the two main islands and hitting major population centres, including the capital Suva.
The Fiji Meteorological Service expects Cyclone Tomas to reach a Category Four storm - one short of the maximum storm - just before it hits the Vanua Levu near Udu Point tomorrow.
It is coming from the north and will pass right over Fiji with its full intensity.
Tomas is estimated to have average winds of 120km/hr, increasing to 160kmh with momentary gusts up to 220kmh in the next 18 to 24 hours.
In advance of Tomas' approach, warnings have been issued for several islands or parts of islands. The public is being advised to take proper precautions immediately including storing food and water, secure property and make sure people are safe from wind and flooding waters.
Current windspeeds are in excess of 140 km/hr and are expected to increase to 165 km/hr with gusts of 230 km/hr over the next 12 - 24 hours.
Warning for Cikobia Island (Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, Ltd)
A Hurricane Warning is now in force for Cikobia Island with average wind speed of 185km/hr and momentary gusts to 230km/hr.
A Storm Warning is now in force for eastern half of Vanua Levu, Rabi, Kioa and nearby smaller islands with average wind speed of 90km/hr and momentary gusts to 130km/hr.
A Gale Warning is now in force for the rest of Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Qamea, Laucala, Eastern coast of Viti Levu, Lomaiviti group, Northern Lau and nearby smaller islands with average wind speed of 75km/hr and momentary gusts to 110km/hr.
A Tropical Cyclone ALERT is in force for the rest of Fiji with wind speed of 60km/hr and momentary gusts to 110km/hr.