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$1.2m Station Boosts Weather Monitoring

$1.2m Station Boosts Weather Monitoring
Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama (left), and Tui Labasa Ratu Jone Qomate (second from right), at the opening of the new Vatunibale weather station in Labasa on September 6, 2018. Photo: DEPTFO News
September 07
10:30 2018

A new $1.2 million weather station at Vatunibale in Labasa was opened by the Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama, yesterday.

The construction of the state-of-the-art facility was done in light of the increase in natural disasters hitting Fiji

The station will work in co-ordination with the Nadi Forecasting Centre and the Suva Meteorological Office as well.

It will also provide meteorological services to the neighbouring countries such as Tonga, Samoa, Niue, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Nauru and the Cook Islands.

Mr Bainimarama said the weather station would have the best and latest technology.

However, he said some of the best technologies will not always get predictions spot on.

“Sometimes, a serious cyclone warning may go out, but all we’ll experience is the light rains of a low depression,” Mr Bainimarama said.

“Other times, storms may intensify over a short period of time.

“That is why every Fijian needs to always treat every warning issued by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Meteorological Services as extremely seriously.

“I know making storm preparations can be time consuming, but it’s far, far better to celebrate a near miss after undertaking the proper preparations, than it is to be caught unaware and unprepared.

“So please, listen to ministry officials and treat every storm warning with the seriousness it deserves,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said the basis of the development and Fiji’s advocacy on climate change abroad was, in his belief, a profound truth that God helped those who help themselves.

“We know that as I speak to you this very moment, our people are siege from rising seas, longer droughts and changing weather patterns.

“And we have all seen firsthand the devastation wrought by the stronger cyclones hitting us year after year,” he said.

Fiji Meteorology Office director Ravind Kumar said the new station would enable their services to be taken closer to the people in the Northern Division and nearby islands.

Mr Kumar said they would have four permanent officers to look after their networks.

“Our staff will ensure that the network within the Northern Division and surrounding islands are up and running at all times,” he said.

“It will feed information to the national weather forecasting centre.” 

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

nacanieli.tuilevuka@fijisun.com.fj

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