Wednesday, 4 April 2018

FIJI: Tropical Cyclone Josie Makes It Un Safe To Go To Fiji, Serious Impact On Tourists.

FIJI TRAVEL advice warns that the country is under a constant level of threat from torrential rain.

Cyclone Josie is the latest to hit the country and has caused widespread disruption.

An archipelago made up of more than 300 islands, Fiji is a country in the South Pacific Ocean and is a popular holiday destination thanks to its beautiful tropical beaches and paradise resorts.

Fiji is under threat from a dangerous tropical Cyclone with torrential rain having spread across the country leaving travel advice questioning if the country is safe to travel.

Named Tropical Cyclone Josie, heavy rain have occurred across all islands with widespread flooding affecting the western and northern areas.

Alongside strong winds, heavy rain and severe floods have damaged homes, business and the livelihoods of Fiji residents.

Fiji Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama released a statement saying - We are now at an almost constant level of threat from these extreme weather events.

We need to get the message out loud and clear to the entire world about the absolute need to confront this crisis head on.

As a nation we are starting to build our resilience in response to the frightening new era that is upon us. We’re at fight for our very survival.

We are now at an almost constant level of threat.

Aid distribution is underway in the Western part of the division.

So far there have been four death reports and one man is still uncounted.

More than 1,000 people are reported to be staying in evacuation centres.

Rising water levels are rising in the major rivers of Viti Levu with the prediction that this will cause flood waters to spread across Nadi town, Ba town, Tavua and Ra towns.

The Low lying areas of Lautoka and Sigatoka including Navua, Nausori and Korovou are also expected to be affected.

Fiji sees around 20,000 British tourists every year and although the majority of holidaymakers travel trouble-free, the contest level of threat from tropical weather Mr Bainimarama describes, is having serious impact on tourists.

On 1 April, the New Zealand Red Cross released a statement on Twitter to say: “#TCJosie is causing flooding, high winds, power cuts and some evacuations in #Fiju. Stay safe everyone.

Although, the Fiji National Disaster Management Office has since reported that flood waters are starting to reduce.

The Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) reported that 40 roads in the Western Division, 27 in the Central Divison and seven in the Northern Division have been closed.

The report has since added: Some roads have reopened in flood affected parts of the Western Division as water levels continue to slowly recede.

The FRA is closely monitoring the situation of the roads and we are urging the public to remain vigilant, tune into the local radio and listen to the advice of the emergency services.

On Sunday, Fiji Airways announced that a number of flights have been cancelled due to the severe weather conditions and that passengers should check the status of their flight before travelling.

An updated report on Monday stated that flights are now running again at a reduced service but that passengers.

This message continues Today will Fiji Airways advising customers to check before departing and some disruption still occurs.

Meanwhile, Cyclone Nora tore through Queensland Australia as strong winds and heavy rain caused power outages and devastation.

The far north of Australia was lashed by a Category 3 tropical cyclone over the weekend, bringing the potential for flooding.

Tropical Cyclone Nora reached the northern state of Queensland late on Saturday, where it impacted the western coast of Cape York, at the northern tip of the state.

There were no reports of injuries so far, although utilities company Ergon Energy said more than 230 homes had temporarily lost power.

The Bureau of Meteorology had predicted the cyclone would reach Category 4 status but it weakened as it crossed from the Northern Territory east into Queensland.

The bureau reported winds of up to 100 kilometres per hour (62 mph), with up to 110 millimetres (4.33 inches) of rainfall.

Local witness Liam Hartley, said: It got a bit hectic about midnight when we got the brunt of it.

We went to sleep about two o'clock when it started to die down.

A lot of the roads are blocked by trees and a lot of power lines down, so it'll be a while before they're back on their feet.

We'll probably stick around and see if the council needs any help cleaning up.

The cyclone has since been downgraded to Category 2 and is now traveling south down the coast, where it is expected to reach Kowanyama, in Queensland’s Gulf Country.

The Premier of Queensland Annastacia Palaszczuk, said: “As Tropical Cyclone Nora is still a category 2 we are not out of this yet.

We want to make sure that all of the communities around the Gulf are still prepared because as we know cyclones can change their direction.

A tropical cyclone warning is still in place between Cape Keerweer and Karumba for the next 24 hours and between Karumba and NT border for the next 48 hours.

Cyclone Nora destroyed trees and brought down power lines across Pormpuraaw, where the Queensland Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) urged people to stay away from fallen electrical cables.

Emma Oliveri from Ergon Energy said: We can assure customers there that we will get crews in as soon as it's safe to do so.

Because of flooding in some of these communities… we're heavily reliant on aircraft to get our crews in.

We need to establish that it's safe to fly and safe to land at the local airstrip. I can't give you a time frame.

Tourism Observer
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