Hundreds of tourists trapped in Fiji, as monster cyclone bears down on South Pacific islands

 
December 16, 2012FIJI - Fijian authorities scrambled to evacuate tourists and residents in low-lying areas Sunday as a monster cyclone threatened the Pacific nation with “catastrophic damage” after causing devastation in Samoa. At least four people were killed when Cyclone Evan slammed into Samoa and the toll was expected to rise with a search launched for eight men missing on three fishing boats. Only one survivor has been found, said the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre, which is overseeing the search. After crossing Samoa, Evan intensified as it ploughed through the Pacific and forecasters said destructive winds could reach nearly 300 kilometers per hour (186 miles per hour) by the time it hits Fiji early Monday. Government officials fear it could be as devastating as Cyclone Kina, which killed 23 people and left thousands homeless in 1993. Squally thunderstorms were expected to flood low-lying areas while coastal villages were at risk of sea flooding, authorities said. The international airport at Nadi was packed as 850 tourists were removed from luxury resorts on outlying islands, “The safety of the tourists was paramount,” said Fiji Tourism and Hotel Association managing director Dixon Seeto, but with most flights booked the holidaymakers had little chance of getting out before the storm. Fiji’s main airline Air Pacific either cancelled or rescheduled its Monday flights while other airlines said they were closely monitoring the situation. Philip Duncan, head analyst with the WeatherWatch.co.nz meteorological service, said Fiji faced the prospect of flash flooding and mudslides. “Gusts may end up climbing to 280 kilometers per hour or greater around the centre of Evan,” Duncan said. “Some small, low-lying communities and resorts may suffer catastrophic damage and some small islands may be entirely submerged as the storm and storm surge roll by.” More than 200 evacuation centers have been opened and Information Ministry permanent secretary Sharon Smith-Johns said people at risk should move. “People living in low-lying areas should consider moving to higher ground or evacuation centres,” she said. Fiji’s military leader Voreqe Bainimarama has warned the storm is an “impending disaster” and offers of international aid have already been received. Australian Foreign Minister Bob Carr said Canberra was offering financial assistance as well as expert personnel and supplies. The cyclone is expected to hit the northern part of Fiji early Monday with strong winds and heavy rain striking several hours earlier, said Nadi Weather Office duty forecaster Amit Singh. “The cyclone is not going to slow down. It is intensifying,” he said. Meanwhile, it could be some days before the full extent of the damage in Samoa is known because of the difficulty reaching outlying islands. About 4,500 people remain in emergency shelters after Evan destroyed houses and damaged electricity and fresh water supplies, Samoan officials said. Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele also warned of possible food shortages next year because crops were destroyed. –BI
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This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Cyclone or Hurricane, Deluge from torrential rains, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Electric power disruption & grid failure, Extreme Weather Event, Gale-force winds and gusts, High-risk potential hazard zone, Infrastructure collapse, Record rainfall, Strange high tides & freak waves, Time - Event Acceleration, Unprecedented Flooding. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Hundreds of tourists trapped in Fiji, as monster cyclone bears down on South Pacific islands

  1. radiogirl says:

    Hi Alvin, when you get a chance check your messages……God Bless…

  2. Pete says:

    My the Lord be with them all and keep them safe in their time of trouble. To worry about tourists ahead of their own shows real compassion. An expression of government responsibility that should be learned by others ….

  3. tellthetruth1 says:

    There no words. I just want to cry for them all.

  4. lainbows says:

    All our prayers are with everyone in Fiji at this time.

  5. Angelsong says:

    Oh Lord, please send your angels of protection to these people! So many hearts are heavy as we see so much tragedy around us and may people realize that Jesus came as our savior and gave us the promise of eternal life if we believe. Lord, we love you and ask for peace, comfort and mercy to prevail during the storms of life we must endure <3

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