FIJI, EASTERN ISLES, ON TROPICAL CYCLONE ALERT

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Storm moving southward, towards Auckland

By Repeka Nasiko SUVA, Fiji (Fijilive, March. 23, 2011) – In Fiji, a tropical cyclone alert remains in force for Lau, Kadavu and Lomaiviti.

Senior Meteorologist, Amit Singh, told FijiLive a strong wind warning remains in force for the Lau group, Lomaiviti group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands.

A tropical depression was located about 190 kilometers southeast of Lakeba or about 440 kilometers east-southeast of Suva at 5 pm today.

"The depression is moving southwest at about 25 kilometers/hour (km/hr). It is intensifying and may become a tropical cyclone in the next 24 to 48 hours," he said.

On this track, Singh said the depression may cause gale force winds over Lau, Lomaiviti and Kadavu in the next 24 to 48 hours.

[PIR editor’s note: According to Tropical Storm Risk (TSR), the cyclone is categorized as a tropical storm with winds traveling 63-118 kilometers per hour. The storm is heading south towards Auckland, New Zealand.]

For Lau, Lomaiviti and Kadavu fresh and gusty northeast to southeast winds gradually turning north to northwest and becoming 45 km/hr to 55 km/hr with gusts to 75 km/hr from early tomorrow.

Winds may increase to damaging gale force with speeds of 65 km/hr with momentary gusts to 95 km/hr from later tomorrow. Flooding including sea flooding of low lying coastal areas is likely to occur.

The next special weather bulletin for Fiji on tropical depression will be issued at midnight tonight or earlier.

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