Every one of us must treat these climate-fuelled catastrophes with deadly seriousness.". Winds are now sustained at 200km/h and over, with gusts to 270km/h, along with major coastal inundation near the centre of the storm as it moves in. The most recent Category Five storm to hit Fiji was Cyclone Harold, which killed 31 people as it tore through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga in April this year. "The storm might turn around and hit us like Winston.”. Fiji Meteorological Service Just after Christmas, Tropical Cyclone Sarai left two people dead and more than 2,500 needing emergency shelter as it damaged houses, crops and trees and cut electricity … Story by Michael Carlowicz. A powerful cyclone hit Fiji overnight, killing at least two people and destroying dozens of homes in the Pacific island nation, authorities said on Friday. Landslides, flooding, strong gusts and large swells are adding to the “destructive” Cyclone Yasa, which hit Fiji two hours earlier than predicted. Australia will deploy naval personnel and financial aid to Fiji following Tropical Cyclone Yasa. Some advocates fear the economic loss caused by the COVID-19 pandemic may mean families are ill-prepared to weather the storm. The island was hit in 2016 by Cyclone Winston, and many still remember the storm that killed over 40 residents. "We're just wondering what is going to happen with COVID and people losing their jobs and the destruction this cyclone will bring to Fiji.". Fijian Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said in a video message that those confirmed dead were a 3-month-old baby and a man in his mid-40s. Families and businesses are preparing as best as they can for the Cyclone and resident Stephanie Brown spoke about boarding … Elsewhere in Suva, Wilfred Wendt, who is part of the climate action group 350 Pacific, said his family had been preparing for the storm all day. Fiji scrambles to provide aid as cyclone toll rises Issued on: 19/12/2020 - 08:22 Cyclone Yasa hit Fiji on Thursday, leaving thousands unable to return home and killing four Leon LORD AFP/File Over 100 cakes could be ruined.”. "We've prepared them to be able to keep in touch with the National office and headquarters by mobile phone until their phones run out if the electricity runs out," she said. Fiji is home to nearly 1 million people and sits between Hawaii and New Zealand. National Disaster Management Office director Vasiti Soko urged anyone who doubted their home's structural integrity to prioritise survival over protecting … Australia has pledged emergency humanitarian relief for Fiji after a powerful cyclone hit the Pacific nation. Though agencies and non-government organisations are preparing for major relief efforts once Cyclone Yasa passes, organisations are urging people not to send goods to Fiji in the aftermath of the storm. He said Fiji's coastal communities will be "badly affected" by sea swells as they come ashore, and he anticipates there will be significant coastal erosion. Australian sailors will embark on a Christmas eve humanitarian mission to help thousands of people in cyclone-struck Fiji. SHARE. Earlier today, a second tropical cyclone, Zazu, was identified in the South … "We know in the Pacific we are resilient and we are doing everything we can to prepare until the worst is over.". 21 Dec 2020. A powerful "super storm" has hit the Pacific Island nation of Fiji this evening, bringing with it destructive hurricane-force winds, flooding and massive waves. "One of the challenges is that this is a depressed economy right now because of the impact of COVID," she said. "So we have to keep in mind that not many households may be able to prepare.". Mr Bainimarama said Yasa "could easily surpass the record-breaking strength" of Cyclone Winston. Cyclone Yasa is expected to hit Fiji on Thursday. SHARE. Located about one-third of the way between New Zealand and Hawaii, Fiji has a population of about 930,000. Yasa is the third Category Five storm to hit Fiji since 2016, when Cyclone Winston killed 44 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. Aileen Torres-Bennett, ASSOCIATED PRESS SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji imposed a nationwide curfew Thursday after urging people near the coast to move to higher ground as the island nation prepared for a major cyclone to hit. News Fiji braces for Cyclone Yasa with 16-meter waves forecast. Fiji's National Disaster Management Office said tow-thirds of Fiji's population of 900,000 is in the cyclone's path. Michael Cheer, who owns the Samabula Cake Shop, was moving cakes into his car so he could take them home and put them into a cooler, rather than driving them across the island to deliver them to another town. It generated winds of up to 330kph at its strongest. The country is now under curfew until Friday morning, to keep people off the streets unless they are evacuating. By that time, it could have swelled to the highest storm category - five, the weather forecaster said. But weather forecaster Neville Koop, director of NaDraki Weather service, said recent modelling suggested fewer people might be severely affected. Use our interactive to look through satellite photos that captured the destruction of Cyclone Winston in Fiji. Flash flooding and landslides are likely in some areas, with the Government warning waves as large as 14 metres could slam the coast. Fiji imposed a nationwide curfew Thursday, Dec. 17, 2020 after urging people near the coast to move to higher ground as the island nation prepared for a major cyclone to hit. "The impact forecast for this super storm is more or less all Fijians," Mr Bainimarama said in a video posted to Facebook. Wed, 23 December 2020 4:17PM. Cyclone Yasa was expected to hit the two main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu later Thursday or early Friday. Authorities imposed an overnight curfew and … The cyclone is set to hit Fiji on Thursday evening or Friday morning. The National Disaster Management Office warned the cyclone could bring waves as high as 16 meters (52 feet) in some places and sustained winds of up to 250 kilometers per hour (155 mph), with gusts hitting 350 kph (217 mph). Fiji's National Disaster Management Office said tow-thirds of Fiji's population of 900,000 is in the cyclone's path. Tropical Cyclone Yasa struck the low-lying Pacific island nation of Fiji on Thursday evening local time, as one of the strongest storms to hit there. Crews clean up after Cyclone Yasa hit Fiji. Fiji … SHARE. and remains the southern hemisphere's strongest storm on record. Live updates: Cyclone Yasa makes landfall in Fiji Cyclone Yasa, with winds at its centre gusting as high as 350km/h, has made landfall on the island of Vanua Levu. Duration: 00:38 1 day ago. The most recent Category Five storm to hit Fiji was Cyclone Harold, which killed 31 people as it tore through the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga in April this year. Wed, 23 December 2020 4:17PM. The category 5 … 'Serious major hit': Cyclone Yasa strengthening in Pacific, 40 pct chance it reaches New Zealand Cyclone brewing over Fiji as temperatures expected to soar across NZ … Aid organisations are concerned some Fijians will not be able to make it to evacuation centres in time. Authorities imposed an overnight curfew and declared a state of natural disaster. Cyclone Winston in 2016 was the last category five cyclone to hit Fiji. UK and European Union reach Brexit deal ahead of crucial deadline, Royal Caribbean launches legal action against families of White Island volcano tragedy, This ladies team drew a crowd of 53,000 fans in 1920. Cyclone Winston was the last Category 5 cyclone to hit Fiji in 2016, which killed more than 40 people, and remains the Southern Hemisphere's strongest storm on record. Australia sends aid to cyclone-hit Fiji. (AP Photo/Aileen Torres-Bennett) In the capital Suva, many residents were experiencing power cuts. The tropical cyclone season in the South Pacific region runs between November and April every year and Fiji is expected to experience up to three tropical cyclones during the 2020/2021 cyclone season. Yasa is the third Category Five storm to hit Fiji since 2016, when Cyclone Winston killed 44 people and destroyed tens of thousands of homes. SHARE. 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