27 Jan 2003

Cyclone warning is out of Fiji

8:42 am on 27 January 2003

The authorities in Fiji have issued a fresh cyclone alert less than two weeks after Cyclone Ami devastated parts of its eastern and northern islands.

The Nadi Weather Office says a depression to the north east of Nadi could develop into a tropical cyclone with damaging winds of up to 65 kilomtres an hour in the next 24 to 36 hours.

The Director of Meteorology, Rajendra Prasad, says if the depression does develop into a cyclone, it could entire Fiji over the Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups, home to many tourist facilities, and pass over both the main islands.

Mr Prasad is predicting strong winds, very heavy rainfall and the possibility of widespread flooding.

The National Disaster Management Centre has advised people to take all precautions to safeguard life and property.

Because of the risk of flash floods in low lying areas, the Centre says people should be ready to implement personal evacuation plans.

There have already been a number of landslides in the past few days because of prolonged rain.

Fishing vessles have been advised not to go to sea and to seek shelter