Let us be prepared

Fred Wesley | Tuesday, February 13, 2018
The revelation that Severe Tropical Cyclone Gita has developed into a Category 5 system with wind gusts of up to 230 kilometres per hour is a concern.

The weatherman says it is expected to carve a destructive path through Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa tonight.

Travelling at 20 kilometres per hour, Fiji Meteorological Service director Ravin Kumar said its damaging hurricane force winds would be experienced over the Southern Lau Group hours before TC Gita made landfall.

Villagers in the Lau Group, Kadavu and nearby islands should prepare for the worst.

STC Winston was destructive back in February, 2016.

It was powerful, leaving a frightening trail of death, damage and helplessness.

Everyone who survived Winston will now be concerned.

In fact, we should all be concerned.

Mother nature can be unpredictable sometimes.

This is why we must be prepared for any eventualities. This is why we cannot afford to be complacent.

Mr Kumar said the system was expected to intensify to a Category 5 system in the next 12 to 24 hours over open waters as it moves west.

STC Gita is expected to enter Fiji waters between tonight and tomorrow morning, if it continues to move at a speed of 20km per hour.

The system is expected to be just south of Kadavu, about 230km south of the island, by midday today.

Mr Kumar said warnings were in force for the Lau Group, Kadavu and the rest of the group.

"Warnings in place include a hurricane warning for Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa, strong wind warnings remain in force for the Southern Lau Group, damaging gale wind warning remains in force for Matuku, Totoya, Moala, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands and is now in force for Lakeba and Nayau."

Strong wind warnings are in force for the central Lau Group, Lomaiviti, southern half of Viti Levu and the rest of Fiji.

We have been warned.

STC Winston left behind bitter memories for thousands of people who were affected in one way or another.

It was the most powerful cyclone to hit our country.

There were many lessons learnt.

Surely there will be concern over the safety of the people of the Kingdom of Tonga in the wake of Gita.

Let's stay vigilant.

Let's prepare for a very strong cyclone.

It can only be in our best interest to do so.

We must respect nature.

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