TWO DEAD AS BAD WEATHER PASSES FIJI

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (December 13, 2000 - The Fiji Times/PINA Nius Online)---Two people have died in floods as a tropical depression, which originally was situated north of Vanuatu, moved southeast below Fiji.

A villager collecting breadfruit was swept away in a flooded river and a teenager disappeared in a swollen creek.

Fiji’s Director of Meteorology, Rajendra Prasad, said although the system has chances of developing further, it has little prospect of forming into a tropical cyclone due to the influence of strong vertical wind shear.

"Instead, the system should gradually transform into an extra-tropical depression as it enters cooler waters south of Fiji.

"Associated strong winds gusting up to 75 kilometers (45 miles) an hour were expected to affect Yasawa and Mamanuca Islands, Western and Southwestern Viti Levu, Kadavu and Southern Lau," Prasad said.

Rain should ease on Thursday as the trough associated with the tropical depression moves across the island group.

For additional reports from the Fiji Times, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Newspapers/Fiji Times.

Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) Website: http://www.pinanius.org 

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