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Minor quake stokes Fiji 'prophecy' fears

Updated11.29 23/6/10 by Michael Field NZ Stuff
LATEST: A small earthquake east of Fiji has added drama to fears that a natural disaster is going to hit the Pacific nation at 2.30pm today.

It was foretold by an obscure pastor who has now been locked up by the military regime for rumour mongering.

The US Geological Survey has reported that an earthquake of magnitude of 5.5 hit the Fiji region at 10.16 today.

It centred between Fiji and Tonga but was 563 kilometres deep and so far no tsunami warning has been issued.

The area, near the Tonga Trench, generates hundreds of earthquakes each year.

This morning's quake was not felt in Suva.

But the military regime has warned civil servants they must be at work today and schools must be open.

The rumour turmoil two days ago led to the military detention of Fiji Rugby Union chairman Bill Gavoka and the pastor prophet Laione Lutumaimuri Nacevamaca of the Kuriako's Christian Centre in Nadi.

Gavoka was released from detention last night but Nacevamaca remains locked up.

Coup leader Voreqe Bainimarama has strongly dismissed the rumours. He has left Fiji and is attending the Arab League Summit in the Dubai.

On Rabi Island, local reports say, the islanders have prepared emergency shelters and moved to higher grounds.

Funerals have been called off today.

Public Service Commission permanent secretary Parmesh Chand says those that do not turn up to work will face disciplinary action.

"Our advice is essentially - for those who deliberately do not turn up to work today due to the so-called prophecy or rumours - today is a normal working day and we expect a 100 percent turnout and those who fail to turn up - disciplinary action will be taken against them."

Education Minister Filipe Bole says all schools will be open today and parents should not stop children from attending school.

Bole says no school will be closed, and he does not expect any disruptions to the normal school day.

Gavoka, the former head of the Fiji Visitors Bureau, had got into trouble for circulating Nacevamaca's warning to tourist operators.

The original warning letter from pastor Nacevamaca said he was "moved" to make the prediction after the Nadi Weather Office predicted 11 cyclones last summer.

"The predicted cyclone will come, but a more devastating disaster will hit Fiji in June, 2010. Earthquakes and waves will hit the entire land from all directions. After the waves, strong winds and rain will follow."

Nacevamaca said.

"I talked to the Lord God some more and he stressed the day. This time in June 2010, the disaster will hit Fiji. It will be chaotic, catastrophe that Fiji has never experienced before.

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Comment by Roba on June 25, 2010 at 6:17pm
False Prophecy!

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