Fiji stops all maritime transport as precautionary measure for tropical depression


Suva [Fiji], February 9 (ANI/Xinhua): The Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) has directed that all maritime transport ceases from midday Tuesday due to damaging winds caused by tropical depression TD09F which brings heavy rain and flash flooding in low lying areas likely to affect visibility.
All shipmasters, ship owners and ship agents for foreign and local ships, pilots, port management companies, marinas and yacht clubs are advised of the approaching tropical depression TD09F located about 200 km east-northeast of Nadi, Fiji’s third-largest city.
According to the Nadi Weather Office, the system is slowly moving and expected to track southwards through the Fiji islands.
Fijians have been warned to expect damaging winds for the land areas of the Lau islands while people in Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island and Lomaiviti, an archipelago that consists of seven main islands are expected to experience heavy rain and strong winds.
The Nadi Weather Office said a strong wind warning remains in force for the land areas of the Lomaiviti islands and Vanua Levu. Close to its center the depression is expected to have average winds of about 55 km per hour with gusts to about 80 km per hour.
Destructive winds can cause damage to weak structures and houses of very light material, crops and vegetation. Flooding of roads, villages and communities near streams, major rivers and low-lying areas is likely with very rough to high seas.
People living near the coastal areas should expect sea flooding during high tide.
Tropical Cyclone Ana, the first one that hit Fiji this year, caused extensive damage to the South Pacific island nation in January.
Last December, tropical cyclone Yasa also battered Fiji, killing four people while more than 1,500 homes were totally destroyed with 6,000 others partially damaged in Vanua Levu.
People are still recovering from the damage caused by both cyclones.
The tropical cyclone season in the South Pacific region runs between November and April every year and Fiji is expected to experience up to three tropical cyclones during the 2020/2021 cyclone season. (ANI/Xinhua)

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