Tropical Cyclone Warning In Effect For Northern Part Of Fiji

Category 2 Ella passes just north of Futuna island

By Felix Chaudhary

SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, May 12, 2017) – A tropical cyclone warning is now in force for the Northern part of Fiji.

People living on Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands have been warned to prepare for gale force winds as Tropical Cyclone Ella moves closer to the country.

Mariners have been warned to expect rough to very rough seas in northern Vanua Levu waters, Lau waters, Koro Sea, Vatu-i-Ra and Kadavu passage.

The Fiji Meteorological Service said TC Ella was located about 360km east-northeast of Cikobia Island or about 390km east-northeast of Udu Point at 3pm yesterday.

The Category 2 cyclone is moving West at about 15km/hr and is expected to move just to the North of Vanua Levu.

[PIR editor's note: On May 12, 2017 RNZI reported that 'Tropical Cyclone Ella, which is a category 2 storm, is passing just north of the French island of Futuna after an earlier prediction of it passing to its south. ... Meteo France said the cyclone had winds close to its centre gusting to 140km/h. ... A level 2 alert has been in force for the island since last night, meaning everybody has to be in shelters and all movements are banned.']

Close to its centre, the cyclone is estimated to have average winds of 95km/hr and momentary gusts to 130km/hr.

On its current track, the cyclone is expected to be located about 140km north-northeast of Cikobia or about 180km north-northeast of Udu Point at midday today and is expected to be located about 250km northeast of Yasawa-i-Rara or about 340km south-east of Rotuma at 6pm on Saturday.

TC Ella is expected to intensify into a Category 3 system tonight.

People in the Lau and Lomaiviti groups and the interior and eastern parts of Viti Levu should expect strong south-east winds with average speeds of 45km/hr and gusts of up to 80km/hr. People should also expect cloudy periods with some showers and thunderstorms with showers becoming frequent and heavy from tomorrow.

Mariners should expect strong southeast winds between 20 and 30 knots with gusts and 45 knots and rough to very rough seas.

Moderate to heavy southeast swells are also expected from this afternoon.

People have been urged to stock up on food and water, clear compounds of loose material and to take down temporary structures as a precaution.

Fiji Times Online.
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