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Cyclone caution

Fred Wesley
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

Yesterday the Fiji Meteorological Service confirmed it was monitoring three systems moving towards the Fiji Group. At least one, it said, had the potential to develop into a Category 1 cyclone.

FMS director Ravind Kumar said they were monitoring three systems concurrently — one located near Tahiti and yet to be named, Tropical Depression 08F (TD08F) and Tropical Disturbance 07F (TD07F).

TD07F, he said, which is moving towards the Fiji Group, had a high chance of developing into a Category 1 cyclone in the next 72 hours.

TD08F, he said, continued to move south and had intensified into a tropical depression. While it posed no direct threat, associated troughs, he said, were still going to affect the northern parts of Fiji.

TD07F is expected to move towards Fiji, and we can expect it, he said, to continue intensifying into a depression in 24 to 48 hours and probably become a Category 1 cyclone in the next 72 hours.

TD07F is expected to bring with it heavy rain and strong wind.

A number of warnings are now in place including a strong wind warning for most parts of Fiji. A heavy rain warning is also in force as well as a flood alert.

The onus is really on us to accept responsibility for our actions.

We should be considerate and be mindful of safety requirements for the family.

Natural disasters happen and we should be alert.

Let us stay safe, minimise unnecessary travel and be vigilant.

Understandably there will be scepticism in the wake of fine and clear days experienced recently.

But as the old saying, "calm before the storm", suggests, it pays to heed warnings.

It is unfortunate that the weather has taken such a turn.

We should remind ourselves that we are still in the cyclone season which is from November to April and it is our responsibility to always be prepared.

The onus really is on each one of us to be careful and use some common sense.

Let us stock up on food and drinking water. Spare batteries, a torch and a medical first aid kit should be kept aside.

Let us be mindful of travel plans at this stage. As a precautionary measure, let us batten down and prepare to be indoors for some time.

For those of us who are in the path of floodwaters, it would pay to keep a close tab on weather reports and start moving to higher ground when the need arises.

Let us place the safety and wellbeing of all those who matter to us high on our list of priorities.

Let's stay safe and well.

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