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Ian poses no threat

Tevita Vuibau
Thursday, January 09, 2014

Majority of the areas in Fiji will not feel the effects of Tropical Cyclone Ian despite it changing course and moving back towards Fiji yesterday.

Fiji Meteorological Service acting director Aminiasi Tuidraki said TC Ian was travelling South West to Tonga but had turned on an opposite direction and was moving back to Fiji at a speed of two knots.

But Mr Tuidraki explained they expected TC Ian to make another about-turn and head back to Tonga by early this morning.

"It is slow moving out at sea at the moment but in another 12 or 18 hours we expect the cyclone to turn around and track back on a South East direction," Mr Tuidraki said.

"The analysis that we are looking at now shows that TC Ian will turn slowly and head back." He also said it had intensified to a Category 2 cyclone with wind speeds of 48 knots, adding the weather office had also issued a strong wind warning to cater for the rain bands felt in the Lau waters.

Mr Tuidraki said although TC Ian remained quite a distance from the Lau Group, they expected some rain and strong winds to be felt there.

"So far there will be no effect on Fiji, the cyclone is more than 200km from Lakeba, and islands in Lau but we will feel nothing here."

He also explained the strong wind warning meant there would be winds of up to 25 knots gusting at times to 35 knots.

Mr Tuidraki also said the Fiji weather office had sent a tropical cyclone alert to Tonga.

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