Sunvoice

You have been WARNED

People cannot say they haven’t been warned. We must be appreciative of the fact that we now have a very reliable weather warning system in place. The Government is ensuring
06 Apr 2016 10:39
You have  been WARNED
fijisun.com.fj

People cannot say they haven’t been warned.

We must be appreciative of the fact that we now have a very reliable weather warning system in place.

The Government is ensuring people get plenty of notice and plenty of time to be prepared.

When Tropical Cyclone Winston was approaching Fiji, early warnings were given out. The problem with Winston was it kept changing direction and even experienced meteorologists were having trouble accurately tracking its final path.

It was also of unprecedented strength.

There is also sometimes, and it must be said, an element of lack of urgency because of the frequency of such warnings, and the fact such has not actually hit us before.

Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama is aware of this. He has sought to address it.

“We cannot afford to be complacent,” he stressed of the changing weather patterns and increasing severity in this age of climate change.

Forty-four people died in Winston. Realistically it could have been more if our cyclone warning system had not been modernised under the Bainimarama Government.

There is perhaps one area that needs attention still. This is the language used in weather bulletins from the Fiji Meteorological Service.

Granted our hard working Government meteorologists have to follow established international protocols and practices and weather speak. But perhaps some of the language could be simplified more and also routinely broadcast in all three major languages.

Now Winston has gone and another cyclone could be threatening as early as today.

Our forecasters are warning about this and the threat of torrential rainfall and flash flooding.

If this cyclone develops and comes our way, it is hoped that we act accordingly and do what our Government asks.

As Winston showed, the weather is never to be underestimated in this age of climate change. You have been warned.

MAIKA BOLATIKI

 

Feedback:  maikab@fijisun.com.fj

 

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