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Fiji Time: 1:59 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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Be prepared

Avinesh Gopal And Tevita Vuibau
Wednesday, December 12, 2012

FIJI needs to be prepared and ready now.

The warning was sounded by the Fiji Meteorological Services director Alipate Waqaicelua yesterday afternoon.

Mr Waqaicelua sounded the warning as a tropical depression (TD 04F) moved away from Fiji but is expected to head back towards us later this week.

Police have also warned mariners to seriously take heed of weather advisories.

The law enforcers have also warned parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children.

The tropical depression's centre was located about 320 kilometres north-northeast of Labasa at 4pm yesterday.

"It is moving towards the east, away from Fiji, at nine knots," said Mr Waqaicelua.

"The depression is intensifying and has a moderate probability of becoming a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours, but high in the next 48 hours.

"At this stage, TD O4F is anticipated to continue tracking eastwards to Samoa as a tropical depression, where during Thursday or Friday, turn back towards Fiji."

Mr Waqaicelua said global numerical weather guidance products were agreeing on this system re-curving as a tropical cyclone and to directly impact Fiji from Sunday, December 16.

"Subsequently, Fiji needs to be prepared and ready, now," he said.

The heavy rain warning that was in force for the Northern Division and Northern Lau was cancelled yesterday afternoon.

Mr Waqaicelua said fine weather should return to the country apart from trade showers and a few afternoon or evening thunderstorms about the interior and Western parts of the main islands.

Police spokeswoman Ana Naisoro yesterday pleaded with mariners to "please take the weather advisories seriously".

Ms Naisoro said it has been noted that people often defy these warnings and go out to sea with some trips ending tragically.

"Mariners must realise that they are putting their own lives and the lives of others in danger if they decide to go out to sea despite the weather advisories," she said.

She also requested parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children, in light of the heavy rain and flash-flood warning issued by the Nadi weather office.

"This is a time when they usually venture outdoors and have a tendency to play in flooded waters.

"However, there are hidden threats which could result in tragic incidents which is why supervision during this time is vital.

"It is advisable to keep listening to the radio for further weather updates and please let's work together to try and avoid any tragic incidents from occurring," said Mr Naisoro.


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