Banaban Voice

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Saturday, March 13, 2010 Fiji Broadcast Corporation

Taken from / By: Google

Tropical Cyclone Tomas is now 600km North-Northeast of Udu Point at of 3am this morning, and with average winds of up to 110km per hour.

In the latest special weather bulletin released by the Nadi Weather Office it says that Cyclone Tomas is moving west at 9km per hour and gradually intensifying.

Compared to the last special bulletin that was released last night at 9pm, Tomas has changed direction.

Before, it was moving southwest with winds of up to 90km per hour but now its heading West, growing more powerful and packing winds of up to 110km per hour.

However Cyclone Tomas has slowed down. As of mid-day yesterday it was moving at 10km per hour before picking up speed as of 9pm last night, moving at 15km per hour but now its only moving at 9km per hour.

But our weather forecasters are still wary and maintain the Cyclone Alert issued yesterday is still in force for the whole Fiji Group.

On this forecast track the cyclone may bring damaging gale force winds over most parts of Fiji in the next 36 to 48 hours.

People are advised that flooding of low lying areas and coastal areas is likely to occur within this time period as rain becomes frequent.

For all those who have boats out at sea, you’re advised that a strong wind warning is in force for all Fiji waters with speed of up to 35knots. Rough seas and damaging waves are developing and you’re advised to take the necessary precautions.

Meanwhile senior weather forecaster at the Nadi weather office-Robin Nateniela says if Cyclone Tomas maintains its current path, its likely to make landfall in Fiji from Vanua Levu.

“At the moment we are just about to issue an alert special weather bulletin for Fiji which is basically an alert and mainly for Cikobia at this stage with an alert we expecting the on set of strong to gale force winds in the next forty eight hours where as the rest of the Fiji group is generally are not being affected at this stage but we will closely monitor the movement of TC THOMAS as it moves westwards perhaps in the twenty four to thirty six hours we can have a concrete detail on what path will it take and will it actually be in the next twenty four hours and the places that’s gonna be mostly affected.”

The Disaster Management office is also on full alert in anticipation of what Cyclone Tomas may bring to the Fiji group.

Although the cyclone is projected to hit the North of Vanua Levu by late Sunday, DISMAC Acting Director Pajiliai Dobui says all necessary precautions must be taken now to prevent any mishaps.

“For those who are living in low lying areas, I think its best if they move to higher ground and also for those who are living in residences that may not withstand the force of the wind, please be advised that it is best to consider moving to other residences or to your friends or to evacuation centers that are available while you still have the time.”

DISMAC has also alerted their different evacuation centers around the country who are on standby should the need arise.

“At this stage all the divisional operational centers is on standby. It has been activated and all are on standby. And similarly all the evacuation centers have been advised to be ready and available in case we have evacuees coming in tomorrow morning or sometime tomorrow in case of the cyclone.”

Dobui is also advising the whole Fiji group to be on high alert as the course of the cyclone can change abruptly.

Cyclone Tomas is projected to hit Northern Vanualevu on Sunday afternoon.

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