FIJI WARNING OVER HIGH SEAS REMAINS IN PLACE

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SUVA, Fiji Islands (July 2, 2002 – Radio New Zealand International)---The commander of the Fiji Navy says high waves have not lashed the southern coast as forecast but a general warning remains in place for the moment.

Commander Viliame Naupoto says people on the Coral Coast along southern Viti Levu and the islands of Kadavu were warned to move to higher ground and seek shelter after a forecast predicted the areas could be hit by waves up to 8 meters (over 26 feet) high.

Commander Naupoto says high tide has passed without the heavy swells but the warning remains, especially for shipping.

"Most of the vessels are now anchored out to prevent, you know, bashing against the wharf and being caught alongside.

"There is a general warning out to ships out at sea about the weather forecast and swells. A few ships that were to sail last night, we directed them not to and to wait for the all clear."

Commander Naupoto says the National Disaster Management Office is likely to lift the warning later this afternoon, once it is confirmed that the low pressure system causing the swells has weakened.

For additional reports from Radio New Zealand International, go to PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT News/Information Links: Radio/TV News/Radio New Zealand International.

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