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Fiji NDMO: Over 600,000 people to be affected by TC Yasa, Fiji Met Service warns of destructive power of Cyclone Yasa
05:14 am GMT+12, 16/12/2020, Fiji

More than 600,000 people or 66 percent of the Fijian population are within the scope of the direct impact of Tropical Cyclone Yasa.
 
Director National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Vasiti Soko says this was the assessment as at last night, however, a more current analysis is being carried out based on the updated cyclone track.
 
Soko says the country will experience intense weather conditions including strong winds which can take down buildings, homes and uproot trees.
 
Evacuation centres are now open in the Northern and Western divisions.
 
Soko said all evacuation centres, except two, are also open in the Central Division.
 
She called on people who did not feel safe in their homes to move to evacuation centres before it got dark.
 
“The Government is taking pro-active measures to open evacuation centres for the public to move if you know your house cannot withstand any strong winds, let alone a category 5 cyclone which is on its way,” Soko said.
 
“Please take yourself and your children and your valuable assets to the evacuation centre.”
 
“If you need to move to an evacuation center we are pleading that you move before it gets dark. The evacuation center for the Northern division as well as the Western division, all evacuation center is now open. For Central and Eastern, for the central division, the majority of it is open. We are just waiting for two more confirmations to come in to confirm that that evacuation center are now open.”
 
Members of the Fiji Police Force and Fiji Military Forces are on standby to help people who needed assistance to move to evacuation centres.
 
Cabinet is also discussing possible revised curfew times in light of TC Yasa.

Soko said any decision on new curfew times must come from cabinet as Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama and all other ministers were briefed this morning.
 
Soko said that based on the advice from the Ministry of Education all school examinations will cease from today. External exams have been pushed to a later date.
 
She is urging Fijians to refer to the Fiji Meteorological Office website for reliable information.
 
Soko said they are working with the Ministry of Health officials to organise command centres to be active.
 
For the civil service, Soko says it is the discretion of the Permanent Secretaries to send officers home to prepare for TC Yasa.  

Meanwhile, a lead forecaster at Fiji's Meteorological Service says Cyclone Yasa has the strength to potentially wipe out villages in the coming days.
 
The public is being warned to prepare to be hit by a devastatingly severe cyclone with impacts to be felt late Thursday and into Friday.
 
Its forecast track has it moving across the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu as it snakes southeast.
 
Fiji Met Service forecaster Steven Meke said the public needed to prepare for the worst.
 
“The impacts will be devastating for Fiji.
 
“We should be expecting, as it moves closer to us, a lot of storm surges. That's what was experienced in the last category five we had so that is what we are anticipating as well.”
 
Meke said the winds brought about by Yasa could be hugely destructive.
 
“We are also expecting a lot of destruction caused by the winds that are brought about, so that is what we are trying to tell the public.
 
“That should be very devastating for any infrastructure that it will encounter. So that is generally one thing that we are trying to tell the members of the public, because we already know that these infrastructures that are existing in some of our villages could easily be wiped out by a storm of this magnitude.”
 
Meke said people were bracing for the storm but many people had limited options when it came to shelter.

SOURCE: FBC NEWS/RNZ PACIFICPACNEWS


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