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Tropical Cyclone Daphne accelerates

April 2, 2012 4:45 am

Tropical Cyclone Daphne is accelerating and is expected to start bringing very strong winds and torrential rain in the next hour.

Director Meteorology Alipate Waqaicelua says those in the west must prepare themselves for the worst.

“At this stage it is still heading towards the South east and is accelerating. We still have a gale warning for the Yasawas, Mamanucas, Viti Levu, Kadavu, and southern Lau and for the rest of Fiji there is a strong wind warning. Even though the centre is passing well to the south-west of Fiji, this cyclone is now accelerating. The associated rain bands are going to come and affect Fiji from tonight which is going to be heavy and will enhance the flooding which will affect those in the western division.”

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Waqaicelua adds people must remain alert with the current weather situation.

“It could be misleading. A couple of sun breaks we have had from this afternoon should not be taken for granted. What I want to tell members of the public, especially those in the west is that the cyclone is getting nearer and the rain bands are approaching Fiji at a much higher speed and during the dark hours of the night, those rain bands will affect the whole Fiji group especially in the western division. And if people are still out and about, it’s now time to go home and refrain from walking about.”

The category 1 cyclone is expected to have the most effect on those in the west.

“It’s a category 1 Tropical Cyclone heading towards the South-East. Its centre is expected to remain to the South-west of Fiji as it heads further towards the high seas. The closest it will come to Fiji at this stage is around 500km to the south-west of Nadi as it heads further out from Fiji.”

And further advice…

“They should be expecting winds to increase particularly for those in Yasawas, Mamanucas, Kadavu, Lau and Viti Levu. You should really be expecting damaging gale force winds from today till tonight. Flooding will re-visit the western division as rain bands associated with the tropical cyclone will bring more heavy rains.”

Waqaicelua is pleading with mariners to refrain from attempting going out to sea.

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