Hurricane Tomas leaves Fiji
Wednesday, March 17, 2010
Many will now take a sigh of relief as Tropical Cyclone Tomas begins its exit and heads away from Fiji.
News from the weather office is that Ono-I-Lau, Votua and nearby islands are the only ones left with a gale force wind warning.
Duty forecaster Alipate Waqaicelua says this warning, as well as the strong wind warnings in place for parts of Fiji will be lifted as Tomas moves away.
“At 5am today the center of Tropical Cyclone Tomas, still a hurricane, was located about 195km/hr to the south southeast of Ono-I-Lau and is accelerating away to the south southeast at around 27km/hr. Current intensity is still around 80 knots, still a category 3 and at this stage only ono and votua and nearby islands are being warned for gale force winds, the rest of the group are only given fresh to strong or less. In a couple of hours we will remove that warning for Northern Vanua Levu and we’re looking for a couple of hours before the gale warning will be lifted and when that happens the whole Fiji group will be free from any direct impact of Tropical Cyclone Tomas.”
As for the next few hours, Waqaicelua says rain can be expected, but for some areas, they could be a sneak of sunshine.
“At this stage for the next 24-48hrs, we’re looking at some rain over most parts of the group. There may be brief periods of fine weather, particularly in the west. But other parts of the group will experience rain in the next at least 48 hours.”
Tomas moves away from Fiji Publish date/time:
March 17 2010
Hurricane Tomas is moving further away from the Fiji group as a gale warning remains in force for Ono-i-lau, Vatoa and nearby smaller islands.
Duty forecaster Sanjay Prakash said a strong wind warning remains in force for Kadavu and rest of Southern Lau, but it is now cancelled for the rest of the Fiji group.
Prakash said Tropical Cyclone Tomas was located at about 195 km South-South-East of Ono-I-Lau at 5am today.
The cyclone is accelerating towards the South-South East at 27 km per hour.
On this track the cyclone’s center is expected to be located about 390 km South-South East of Ono-I-Lau.
For Ono-I-Lau, Vatoa and nearby islands: damaging gale force winds with average speeds of 65 km/hr and momentary gusts to 95 km/hr easing later this morning. Source
New Zealand has sent to air craft with aid to help.
Australia is also sending Aid.
The Fiji Red Cross will also get some money to assist in the distribution of emergency supplies.
Cyclone Tomas Pounds Fiji with 165 MPH Winds, “Coconut Trees Bent like Twigs”
Hurricane Tomas remains on a southerly course but its speed of movement has picked up to 18-20 km/hr.
March 16, 2010
This may increase a little further as the system gets to Southern Lau.
With the hurricane steadily moving away from the Northern and eastern Divisions – winds there are expected to decrease further overnight with rain easing to a few showers tomorrow.
The system remains on a southerly course but its speed of movement has picked up to 18-20 km/hr.
This may increase a little further as the system gets to Southern Lau. A slow southeast bend in the path of Tomas is expected soon.
With a state of emergency declared in the hardest-hit areas – knocking out power and forcing thousands of people – out of their homes.
Sea surges as high as 7 meters were reported in the Lau island group – causing flooding – and forcing villagers to abandon their homes.
Power, water, sewage and other services in most areas in the North have been disrupted – with all airstrips and airports closed.
Troops have been deployed to provide relief, including food, water and basic supplies.
One death has been reported.
Initial damage assessments will be made tomorrow.
March 15 2010
ABC March 15 2010
Cyclone Tomas has blasted parts of north-east Fiji, prompting the National Disaster Managment to declare the area a state of disaster.
There are very few picture of the aftermath as of yet.