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At Least One Category 3 Cyclone Tipped to Head Our Way

At Least One  Category 3  Cyclone Tipped to Head Our Way
October 12
10:55 2017

At least one category three or above Tropical Cyclone is predicted to pass over Fiji in the 2017/18 cyclone season that begins next month, a report reveals.

The findings were read out yesterday from a Fiji Meteorological and Hydrological Service report on the outlook of the 2017/18 cyclone season.

The Permanent Secretary for Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management, and Meteorological Services, Meleti Bainimarama, read out the report in Suva.

According to the findings, one to two tropical cyclones are anticipated to pass over Fiji, which is considered as near average cyclone activity.

While four to six tropical cyclones are expected to hit a geographical area – called the Area of Responsibility – within which fall Fiji, Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Kiribati, Tokelau, Nauru, Niue, Tuvalu, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Wallis and Futuna, Vanuatu, Tonga and New Caledonia.

Three to five of these will be at least category three or higher, the findings revealed.

“(The) whole of the country should remain alert and prepared at all times throughout the season,” said Mr Bainimarama, adding that the predictions were based on statistical and scientific evidence and were not actual forecasts.

“We learned from TC Winston, which affected Fiji in February 2016, to remain prepared at all times.”

Tropical Cyclone Winston, recorded as the most powerful cyclone to hit the Southern Hemisphere, caused widespread damage in the country leaving thousands homeless and without access to electricity and proper sanitation.

“There is no question in terms of how accurate the predictions could be in the sense that it is based on statistical information and this is based on 47 tropical cyclone seasons,” said Director of Fiji Meteorological Services Ravind Kumar.

“However, when we say predictions, they are not normally going to lie within the range that we have predicted but there is a possibility that we will see that 4-6 tropical cyclones forming in Fiji’s AOR, not necessarily within Fiji.”

The official 2017/18 TC cyclone season begins on November 1, 2017 and ends on April 30, 2018. But it is not unusual for cyclones to form outside the season.

According to the report, the peak time during the season will fall within the months from January to March.

Mr Bainimarama added: “It is very important that Fijians are quick to take heed of warnings and take the necessary precautions in order to save lives and protect property.”

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  sheldon.chanel@fijisun.com.fj

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