“Let’s remember Cyclone Harold – at the last minute it ramped up in strength and ended up being worse than predicted,” he warned. The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that even well built homes could face "severe damage" as a result of winds more than 200 kph (124 mph), while trees and power poles could be downed, bringing more destruction and disruption. Zazu, which is north-east of Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, is rated a category one system, with winds of up to 90km/h (55mph). Fiji's government ordered a nationwide curfew on Thursday, … Such strong cyclones were once rare but have become increasingly common in recent years. Updated 0734 GMT (1534 HKT) December 17, 2020. Fiji's government ordered a nationwide curfew on Thursday, including a ban on public transportation, with a potentially devastating cyclone expected to unleash powerful winds and flooding on the island nation within a day. The Fiji government on Thursday declared a nationwide curfew and ordered residents to take shelter as “super storm” Yasa made landfall as a category 4 … Radar image of Tropical Cyclone Yasa at 02:30Z December 17, 2020, (9:30 p.m. EST December 16), approximately four hours before it made landfall on Fiji… “It makes it a little tricky to know exactly how close Yasa will get to Fiji – direct hit is the current thinking,” Weatherwatch managing director Philip Duncan said. Pacific nations brace for first major cyclones of the season Format News and Press Release Source. Accessed December 16, 2020. Tropical Cyclone Yasa pummelled the Fiji archipelago with strong winds and heavy rain. 17 Dec 2020. Every one of us must treat these climate-fuelled catastrophes with deadly seriousness," Bainimarama wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. Yasa whirled over Vanua Levu, Fiji's … Citizens were told to evacuate low-lying areas in anticipation of a storm that will likely have category 4 or 5 strength when it arrives on December 17, 2020. 17 Dec, 2020 04:58 AM 3 minutes to read. Tropical Cyclone Yasa, currently the strongest storm on Earth, is headed for a potentially devastating landfall in Fiji within the next 24 hours. “If you’re on a very low-lying island, now is the time to be getting out of there: this is a very serious situation.”. Tropical Cyclone Yasa is heading straight for Fiji. pic.twitter.com/aAbw3J2OlS. Fiji's location is superimposed. Fiji and Tonga issued severe weather warnings Tuesday as twin cyclones intensified near the Pacific island nations. Police would enforce a ban on public transport, said the country's National Disaster Management Office, which added that the country had declared a "state of natural disaster" that gives law enforcement authorities increased powers. Fiji warns of huge waves from super cyclone Thursday, 17 Dec 2020 06:57 AM MYT Vessels secured with ropes are seen ahead of Cyclone Yasa at Royal Suva Yacht Club in Suva, Fiji December 16, 2020, in this image obtained from social media. Fiji + 2 more. Bainimarama, in particular, has been prominent in attributing the increasing regularity and intensity of cyclones to climate change. For severe Tropical Cyclone (TC), it is possible that one severe TC could affect Fiji during the season. ... Cyclone … (Image credit: NASA Worldview) Fiji is bracing for the potentially catastrophic impact of category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa, which is expected to make landfall Thursday morning (U.S. EST) as a high-end category 4 storm. An average Atlantic hurricane season features 12 tropical storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, and features an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) count of 106. The South Pacific island nation of Fiji is bracing for the arrival of severe tropical cyclone Yasa. The severe storm is projected to reach average winds of about 200km/h – with gusts of up to 315km/h – when it approaches Fiji’s main islands on Thursday, the Fiji Meteorological Service said. Fiji's National Disaster Management Office warned the cyclone could generate waves as high as 16 meters (52 feet). Fiji’s prime minister, Frank Bainimarama, has urged all Fijians to prepare evacuation plans. The impact on Fiji's Vanua Levu Island is likely to be devastating, but major populated areas spared of direct hit. Cyclone Yasa's powerful winds and torrential rain have left at least two people dead, one a three-month-old baby, and destroyed scores of homes in Fiji. MapAction; Posted 17 Dec 2020 … Tropical Cyclone Yasa has intensified into a top-of-the-scale category five super-storm in the Pacific and remains on track to hit Fiji this week, forecasters said on Wednesday. Every Fijian should prepare now for heavy rain, damaging winds, coastal inundation, and flooding across the country. The storms are the first to form in the South Pacific’s cyclone season, which runs until May next year. Updated December 17, 2020 3:07 pm. I urge communities to use this time to take steps to keep your homes and communities safe. "The impact for this super storm is more or less the entire country," Bainimarama said in the video. "My fellow Fijians, as the world is getting warmer these storms are getting stronger. Yasa would "easily surpass" the strength of 2016's Cyclone Winston, Bainimarama said, referring to the Southern Hemisphere's most intense tropical storm on record, which killed more than 40 Fijians and left tens of thousands of people homeless. But Yasa, about 550km (340 miles) north-west of Fiji’s main island Viti Levu, has already been upgraded to a category five cyclone, with winds of up to 270km/h. In 2020 in the North Atlantic basin, all of the statistics fell well above listed, featuring a record-breaking 30 tropical storms, 13 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes, with an ACE total of 178. Fiji time is UTC +12 hours. Raiwaqa crossing on Kavanagasau Rd in Sigatoka is closed due to flooding as tropical Cyclone Yasa approaches Fiji. Updated 10:29 PM ET, Tue December 15, 2020 (CNN) A powerful storm is barreling down on Fiji, bringing hurricane-force winds to the Pacific island nation. He said the archipelago nation of about 900,000 people must again prepare for a worst-case scenario, just eight months after it last endured a lashing from a super-storm. For example, 1800 UTC Saturday is 0600 Sunday Fiji time. Authorities in both Tonga and Fiji have advised residents to prepare for damaging winds and flash floods. ⬇️The threat map and track map of TC Yasa[cat 5⃣] issued this morning. Posted December 17, 2020 1:47 am . #veilomani pic.twitter.com/oYaU7s623u, TC Yasa UpdateAt 3⃣am today, Yasa has further intensified further into a category 5⃣ system while remaining north-northwest of Yasawa-i-Rara. By 8 p.m. (2 a.m. Fishing fleets have been ordered back to port. Fiji: Cyclones - Actual and forecasted storm tracks of Tropical Cyclones Yasa and Zazu (as at 16 Dec 2020) Format Map Source. Such powerful winds can cause “widespread destruction” and “total damage to crops and vegetation”, the country’s meteorological office says , on top of damage from floods, landslides, and storm surge. “We should all prepare now for heavy rain, damaging winds, coastal inundation and flooding across the country,” he said in a national address. It is expected to make landfall over Fiji late on Thursday or early on Friday. Tropical cyclone Yasa, the first severe tropical cyclone of … “Do not be caught off guard by this latest storm.”, Cyclone Harold batters Fiji on path of destruction through Pacific, The Vanuatu island in the eye of the storm. Additional reporting by CNN's Angus Watson and meteorologist Taylor Ward. This photo taken Dec. 19, 2020, and released by Fiji Red Cross shows devastation after remote villages were flattened by Cylone Yasa on Vanua Levu Island. — Picture by Patricia Mallam via Reuters Bainimarama said Fijians should board up their homes, prepare emergency supplies and have a route planned to their nearest evacuation centre. The country ordered a 14-hour nationwide curfew from 4 p.m. (10 p.m. CIMSS Satellite Blog (2020, December 16) Cyclone Yasa strengthens rapidly in the South Pacific. 2:47 Cyclone Yasa: Fiji under curfew, ... Death toll from Fiji cyclone hits 18 as clean up begins – Feb 22, 2016. Tue 15 Dec 2020 18.44 EST Twin cyclones are bearing down on Pacific islands, with Fiji’s main island likely to be directly hit by a category five storm for the second time this year. Dec. 16, 2020 at 6:18 p.m. UTC. ET) Thursday, the center of Yasa was forecast to be 100 km (62 miles) east of the village of Yasawa-i-Rara and potentially over Fiji's fifth-most populous province of Bua, home to 15,000 people, the office said. While making the announcement, Fiji’s Director for National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Vasiti Soko said that developments may lead to additional regulations, reports Xinhua news agency. Local officials have warned the potential effect of the storm could be devastating. This is the second time this year the Fiji archipelago has had a direct landfall from a major tropical cyclone. Residents wade through the flooded streets in Fiji's capital city of Suva on December 16, 2020, ahead of super Cyclone Yasa. Evacuations ordered in Fiji as Yasa strengthens into a category five system with winds of up to 270km/h, Last modified on Tue 15 Dec 2020 23.46 GMT. The New Zealand-based meteorological service Weatherwatch said the twin cyclones were unlikely to join up but their proximity to one another did complicate forecasting. More than 850,000 Fijians, or 95% of the population, live in the direct path of Yasa, Bainimarama said, adding that weather forecasts anticipated flash flooding and "severe coastal inundation" that included waves up to 10 meters (33 feet) high. Cyclone Yasa is projected to intensify and strike parts of Fiji with wind speeds that may reach 230 kilometres per hour – potentially a Category 5 storm. Dec. 17, 2020 at 4:34 p.m. UTC Tropical Cyclone Yasa struck the low-lying Pacific island nation of Fiji on Thursday evening local time, as one of the strongest storms to hit there. ET Wednesday) with people living in low-lying areas urged to move to higher ground before nightfall, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said in a video posted to Facebook. Electricity Authority of Fiji (EFL) takes safety precautions ahead of Cyclone Yasa in Suva, Fiji December 16, 2020, in this image obtained from social media. Residents wade through the flooded streets in Fiji's capital city of Suva on December 16, 2020, ahead of super Cyclone Yasa. Tropical Cyclone Yasa moves toward Fiji yesterday. The article stated that Fiji is forecasted to be hit by four tropical cyclones in the November 2020 to April 2021 season. Strong cyclones have become increasingly common in the Pacific in recent years, something Bainimarama has put down to climate change. NOAA-20 visible satellite image of Tropical Cyclone Yasa at category 5 intensity with 160 mph winds at approximately 12Z December 16, 2020. #TCYasa is projected to move towards Fiji from tomorrow. Yasa is moving slowly, according to Fiji’s meteorological office, at about 8km/h, but gathering in strength. For example, 0000 UTC Saturday is 1200 Saturday Fiji time. Tropical cyclone … Super cyclone Yasa slammed into Fiji's second-largest island Thursday, tearing roofs off buildings as it triggered flash floods and landslides in the Pacific island nation. Fiji is "smack bang in the firing line" of a major tropical cyclone that could be life-threatening for some on lower-lying islands. Category Cyclone 1 has mean winds 34-47 knots with a central pressure greater than 985 hPa Category Cyclone 2 … Twin cyclones are bearing down on Pacific islands, with Fiji’s main island likely to be directly hit by a category five storm for the second time this year. Tropical cyclone risk for Fiji during the 2020-21 season is likely to be near average, that is, one to three tropical cyclones are expected to pass through Fiji’s Exclusive Economic Zone. Fiji Meteorological Service (2020) Severe TC Yasa intensifies further into a category 5 system and slow moving toward Fiji. The region was battered by Tropical Cyclone Harold in April, a category five storm that gouged a trail of destruction across the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga. Earlier this year, he said that global warming was the cause of worsening wildfires in Australia as well as heavier storms in the Pacific. This prediction is from a joint modelling work between researchers from University of Newcastle and National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand. #FijiNewsSevere Tropical Cyclone Yasa has been upgraded to a Category 5 system. The system is more than 400km across, the acting director of the Nadi weather office, Terry Atalifo, said, and damaging rain and winds are expected for days. IFRC; Posted 15 Dec 2020 Originally published 16 Dec 2020 Tropical Cyclone Yasa made landfall in Fiji Thursday afternoon, local time, slamming into the island of Vanua Levu packing winds of 240 kph (149 mph) equivalent to a category 4 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. TC Yasa is slow moving east-northeast at 4 knots or 6 km/hr. Sheldon Chanel in Suva, Ben Doherty Pacific Editor Thu 17 Dec 2020 23.01 EST A three-month-old baby was one of two people killed when category-five Cyclone Yasa tore through Fiji’s … Tonga and Fiji were bracing for potentially catastrophic damage as tropical cyclones Zazu and Yasa intensified off their coastlines on Wednesday. Fiji + 1 more. The natural-color image was acquired in the early afternoon on Dec. 16, 2020, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA ’s Aqua satellite. Duncan said parts of Fiji were forecast to get up to 400mm of rain, and waves of up to 10 metres were predicted off the country’s western coast. 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