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Severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa could be as strong as TC Winston by the time it reaches Fiji.
Even as a category five system, TC Yasa continues to intensify and gain strength.
Senior Forecaster at the Fiji Meteorological Services Steven Meke confirms says Fijians should expect the same conditions that were encountered during the height of TC Winston in 2016.
“It’s still very favourable to intensify further, could even reach Tropical Cyclone Winston intensity. It’s a massive system. It will come in and really bring in the impact that Winston brought.
As at 10am today, the system was located 480 kilometres Northwest of Yasawa-I-Rara.
Meke says given the size and severity of TC Yasa, the whole of the Fiji Group will experience gale force winds of up to 87km/ph, increasing to destructive hurricane-force winds by tomorrow evening.
“The winds could be destructive to existing infrastructure, it could destroy farms. It will uproot trees. It should bring huge storm surges along coastal areas.
As the system has picked up strength, wind speeds have also increased.”
Meanwhile, Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) is calling on Fijians to act sensibly as Tropical Cyclone Yasa approaches Fiji.
NDMO director Vasiti Soko is asking the people of Fiji to remain calm.
“I’d like to ask the people of Fiji to remain calm. As you remain calm, you’d also be wary of the fact that this is now being categorised as category 5 so we are asking the general public to please stock up dry food, store up on water, ensure that your home is safe, put up hurricane shutters,” Soko said.
She has also asked people to move to evacuation centres if they feel their houses are not safe.
“If you know that your house is not safe before the cyclone arrives, we ask you to please liaise with your district officers and do move to the evacuation centre before TC Yasa arrives,” she said.
SOURCE: FBC NEWS/FIJI TIMES/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
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