Tag Archive: Fiji


Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

 photo Indonesia53Mag-Philippines51Mag-Tonga50MagEQAugust8th2013_zps20bc92b7.jpg

1

M5.3 – 82km SW of Sukorejo, Indonesia

2013-08-08 10:45:57 UTC

Earthquake location 8.825°S, 110.909°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-08-08 10:45:57 UTC
  2. 2013-08-08 17:45:57 UTC+07:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-08-08 05:45:57 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

8.825°S 110.909°E depth=9.7km (6.0mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 82km (51mi) SW of Sukorejo, Indonesia
  2. 100km (62mi) SSE of Wonosari, Indonesia
  3. 106km (66mi) SSW of Jatiroto, Indonesia
  4. 114km (71mi) SSE of Pundong, Indonesia
  5. 533km (331mi) ESE of Jakarta, Indonesia

2

M5.1 – 42km ESE of Bobon, Philippines

2013-08-08 02:03:08 UTC

Earthquake location 6.718°N, 126.680°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-08-08 02:03:08 UTC
  2. 2013-08-08 10:03:08 UTC+08:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-08-07 21:03:08 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

6.718°N 126.680°E depth=179.4km (111.5mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 42km (26mi) ESE of Bobon, Philippines
  2. 57km (35mi) ESE of Mati, Philippines
  3. 57km (35mi) SSE of Manay, Philippines
  4. 76km (47mi) ESE of Lupon, Philippines
  5. 864km (537mi) W of Koror Town, Palau

3

M5.0 – 166km NW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga

2013-08-08 04:57:57 UTC

Earthquake location 20.269°S, 176.513°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-08-08 04:57:57 UTC
  2. 2013-08-07 16:57:57 UTC-12:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-08-07 23:57:57 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

20.269°S 176.513°W depth=241.0km (149.7mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 166km (103mi) NW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
  2. 580km (360mi) ESE of Suva, Fiji
  3. 608km (378mi) SE of Lambasa, Fiji
  4. 694km (431mi) ESE of Nadi, Fiji
  5. 873km (542mi) SW of Apia, Samoa

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desertrosetx

Published on May 23, 2013

Tectonic Summary

The May 23, 2013 Mw 7.4 earthquake southwest of Vaini, Tonga, occurred as a result of normal faulting at a depth of approximately 170 km. At the location of this earthquake, the Pacific and Australia plates are converging at a rate of approximately 73 mm per yr in an east-west direction, resulting in the westward subduction of the Pacific plate beneath Tonga at the Tonga-Kermadec trench. The depth and faulting mechanism of the May 23rd earthquake indicate it ruptured a fault within the subducting Pacific lithosphere rather than on the shallower thrust interface between the two plates.

The Tonga-Kermadec arc has frequent moderate-to-large earthquakes, and has hosted over a dozen M6.5 plus earthquakes within 500 km of the May 23rd earthquake over the past 40 years. Most of these also occurred at intermediate depths; the largest was an Mw 7.7 earthquake in October of 1997, approximately 110 km to the north-northeast of the May 23 2013 event. None are known to have caused significant damage. Intermediate-depth (70-300 km) and deep-focus (depth less than 300 km) earthquakes are distinguished from shallow earthquakes (0-70 km) by the nature of their tectonic setting, and are in general less hazardous than their shallow counterparts, though they may be felt at great distances from their epicenters. The Tonga-Kermadec slab in the region of the May 23 2013 earthquake is seismically active to depths of over 650 km.

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5 plus earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5 plus earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults’ strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5 plus earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8 plus events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

Fiji - 4.3 mag  EQ  May 10th  2013 photo Fiji-43magEQMay10th2013_zps63ee9f66.jpg
….

M4.3 – 236km SE of Lambasa, Fiji 2013-05-10 10:55:36 UTC

Earthquake location 17.644°S, 178.803°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-10 10:55:36 UTC
  2. 2013-05-09 22:55:36 UTC-12:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-10 05:55:36 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

17.644°S 178.803°W depth=541.0km (336.1mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 236km (147mi) SE of Lambasa, Fiji
  2. 297km (185mi) E of Suva, Fiji
  3. 401km (249mi) E of Nadi, Fiji
  4. 540km (336mi) NW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
  5. 863km (536mi) WSW of Apia, Samoa

….

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults’ strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (>120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

….

….

Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

 photo Fiji-50EQMay4th2013_zpsc3ef9286.jpg

5.0 237km NNE of Ndoi Island, Fiji 2013-05-04 09:44:45 18.647°S 177.883°W 568.1

M5.0 – 237km NNE of Ndoi Island, Fiji 2013-05-04 09:44:45 UTC

Earthquake location 18.647°S, 177.883°W

Event Time

  1. 2013-05-04 09:44:45 UTC
  2. 2013-05-03 21:44:45 UTC-12:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-05-04 04:44:45 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

18.647°S 177.883°W depth=568.1km (353.0mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 237km (147mi) NNE of Ndoi Island, Fiji
  2. 380km (236mi) SE of Lambasa, Fiji
  3. 392km (244mi) E of Suva, Fiji
  4. 393km (244mi) NW of Nuku`alofa, Tonga
  5. 505km (314mi) ESE of Nadi, Fiji

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults’ strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (>120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

6.0 162km NW of Ceva-i-Ra, Fiji 2013-03-24 08:13:44 20.777°S 173.407°E 10.0

M6.0 – 162km NW of Ceva-i-Ra, Fiji 2013-03-24 08:13:44 UTC

Earthquake location 20.777°S, 173.407°E

Event Time

  1. 2013-03-24 08:13:44 UTC
  2. 2013-03-24 20:13:44 UTC+12:00 at epicenter
  3. 2013-03-24 03:13:44 UTC-05:00 system time

Location

20.777°S 173.407°E depth=10.0km (6.2mi)

Nearby Cities

  1. 162km (101mi) NW of Ceva-i-Ra, Fiji
  2. 534km (332mi) SW of Nadi, Fiji
  3. 603km (375mi) WSW of Suva, Fiji
  4. 631km (392mi) ESE of Port-Vila, Vanuatu
  5. 639km (397mi) E of We, New Caledonia

 

Tectonic Summary

Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke’s Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults’ strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (>120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

Instrumental Intensity

ShakeMap Intensity Image

 

Earth Watch Report  -  Earthquakes

Pacific Ring Of Fire

Volcanoes Along The Pacific Ring Of Fire

 

2.6

21km NE of Sterling, Alaska

2013-02-12 01:49:39

60.675°N

150.496°W

39.4

5.2

287km NNE of Ndoi Island, Fiji

2013-02-12 01:23:56

18.163°S

177.929°W

526.0

4.5

64km WSW of Tugu Hilir, Indonesia

2013-02-11 23:03:18

7.083°S

105.109°E

44.3

5.8

51km SW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 20:09:54

11.044°S

165.495°E

2.2

4.6

90km WSW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 14:09:35

10.940°S

165.032°E

10.0

4.7

16km SSW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 12:51:00

10.849°S

165.753°E

10.1

4.9

151km S of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 11:38:19

12.089°S

165.879°E

35.1

4.9

West Chile Rise

2013-02-11 11:10:53

44.868°S

81.458°W

10.0

5.7

105km ESE of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 09:40:23

11.058°S

166.736°E

34.3

3.0

271km S of Cape Yakataga, Alaska

2013-02-11 08:40:26

57.633°N

142.811°W

10.0

2.9

8km W of Cobb, California

2013-02-11 08:27:03

38.815°N

122.821°W

3.0

5.0

25km S of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 07:51:17

10.948°S

165.792°E

10.1

4.8

126km SW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-11 05:56:22

11.569°S

165.067°E

10.1

4.7

66km SE of Ofunato, Japan

2013-02-11 03:45:42

38.583°N

142.164°E

37.0

5.2

118km W of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-10 23:25:12

10.663°S

164.752°E

34.8

2.5

11km S of Princeton, Canada

2013-02-10 22:15:12

49.361°N

120.482°W

0.0

5.0

137km W of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-10 22:12:35

10.631°S

164.576°E

35.1

3.1

30km S of Sterling, Alaska

2013-02-10 21:20:32

60.264°N

150.700°W

188.3

4.8

96km W of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-10 21:01:12

10.789°S

164.952°E

35.1

4.9

128km WSW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-10 20:43:18

11.042°S

164.709°E

42.0

5.0

39km WNW of San Antonio, Chile

2013-02-10 20:00:36

33.467°S

72.023°W

23.7

5.7

24km NW of Cartagena, Chile

2013-02-10 19:54:33

33.386°S

71.772°W

35.0

4.8

50km SW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-10 19:31:48

10.982°S

165.453°E

37.0

2.7

6km SSW of Cobb, California

2013-02-10 19:05:40

38.767°N

122.740°W

2.1

3.8

31km SSE of Kodiak Station, Alaska

2013-02-10 19:00:32

57.511°N

152.479°W

35.2

6.3

51km SW of Lata, Solomon Islands

2013-02-10 18:39:35

10.978°S

165.444°E

35.0

2.8

5km SW of Cobb, California

2013-02-10 18:28:35

38.789°N

122.763°W

2.1

3.2

40km E of Bear Creek, Alaska

2013-02-10 14:22:52

60.162°N

148.668°W

40.6

3.0

64km WSW of Big Lake, Alaska

2013-02-10 14:13:38

61.374°N

151.131°W

48.7

4.4

91km SSE of Tateyama, Japan

2013-02-10 12:21:41

34.185°N

140.128°E

86.2

3.8

131km W of Larsen Bay, Alaska

2013-02-10 12:00:24

57.348°N

156.155°W

78.0

Earth Watch Report  -  Storms-  Disaster Management

 

 

SHAKE AND BLOW

Thousands flee floods as cyclone batters Solomon Islands

by Staff Writers
Honiara (AFP)

Thousands of people were forced to flee rapidly rising rivers in the Solomon Islands, officials said Sunday as Cyclone Freda intensified into a “destructive” force storm and headed towards New Caledonia.

Wind gusts had strengthened to more than 231 kilometres per hour (144 miles per hour, 125 knots) as Freda developed into a powerful category four storm, said Sajay Prakesh at the Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre in Fiji.

“These winds are very destructive and can cause huge damage to infrastructure and buildings,” he told AFP.

Freda is expected to reach New Caledonia on New Year’s Day and “given its current form if it hits New Caledonia Freda will cause huge damage, as it will blow strong winds and heavy rain for six to seven hours”.

Thousands of people from riverside villages had moved to the safety of higher ground, National Disaster Management Office director Loti Yates said.

“But there have been no reports of injury,” he said.

Fishing boats and other craft were advised not to put out to sea and local flights were cancelled as the cyclone moved across the Solomons on a path towards New Caledonia.

Earlier this month Cyclone Evan strengthened to a category four cyclone and left a swathe of devastation in its wake, destroying homes, flooding rivers and stranding thousands of tourists in Fiji.

Before arriving in Fiji, it pummelled neighbouring Samoa, killing at least five.

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Earth Watch Report  -  Storms

 

Today Tropical Storm Samoa [Statewide] Damage level
Details

Tropical Storm in Samoa on Tuesday, 18 December, 2012 at 04:33 (04:33 AM) UTC.

Description
As Cyclone Evan moves on to ravage Fiji, there’s at least one Samoan man in Palmerston North who is relieved to hear his family are safe, but he is devastated for his country. Cyclone Evan last week destroyed much of Samoa’s capital Apia, leaving at least four people dead and another eight people missing. On Sunday it transformed from a category 3 cyclone to a 4, on a 5-point scale, and powered across the French islands of Wallis and Futuna. It is now battering Fiji. Tafilipepe Fred Asalemo was concerned about family members back home after he was unable to get hold of them after Cyclone Evan hit. However, he was able to contact them at the weekend, and was relieved to hear they were safe. But his sister-in-law’s house in Falelatai had its roof blown off and was flooded with water and mud. That wasn’t good news, but he had initially heard it had been destroyed, and it wasn’t as bad as some of the other places, he said. A group of youths from his church, the Samoan Congregational Christian Church, had a long-planned trip to Samoa to learn the language and culture, and was headed there this week. Unfortunately for them, they would probably spend more time helping to clean up than learning, he said.

Mr Asalemo said the cyclone was just as devastating, if not more so, than the tsunami that hit the country in 2009. Shelter Box Response Team member Lyndon Tamblyn, who owns What a Load of Bull in Bulls, was heading to Samoa along with another team member to assess the damage yesterday. The problem was communications were down and that made it difficult to determine how badly affected the smaller communities were. One of the reports that had come out from the Disaster Relief Forum (NDRF) said up to 1000 homes had been lost. Priorities for shelter boxes were families with children and elderly people whose homes had been destroyed and were living in temporary accommodation such as schools or halls. Shelter Box would liaise with the Red Cross, the Samoan Government and other aid agencies.

 

Earth Watch Report -  Storms

8 17.12.2012 Tropical Storm MultiCountries [Samoa, American Samoa and Fiji] Damage level Details

Tropical Storm in MultiCountries on Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 at 18:06 (06:06 PM) UTC.

Back

Updated: Monday, 17 December, 2012 at 03:59 UTC
Description
The Pacific island nation of Fiji was bracing for its biggest cyclone in 20 years on Monday after the same storm hit nearby Samoa late last week, destroying houses and killing four people around the capital, Apia. Tourist resorts on many of Fiji’s palm-fringed islands have been evacuated and authorities have set up more than 60 evacuation centres, warning people to take shelter ahead of Tropical Cyclone Evan. The category four cyclone is expected to bring destructive winds, rain and possible flooding to areas of Fiji, and pass to the northwestern side of the main Fiji islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with wind gusts up to 270 kmh (170 mph). Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama has ordered public servants to remain at home and has put emergency services on standby. Hospitals and health centres have been closed for all but emergency patients. Power supplies have also been cut to some areas as a precaution against falling power lines, while banks have been closed. Airlines have canceled flights to and from Fiji, stranding around 1,900 visitors in the country. “I cannot stress enough how serious this is. Every Fijian will be affected but we must take preventative steps now,” Bainimarama said. Cyclone Evan is moving at about 22 kmh and is due to pass about 70 km (45 miles) west of Nadi, the site of Fiji’s main airport, late on Monday. Australia and New Zealand have offered support to Fiji ahead of the storm and have search and rescue personnel on standby.

Tropical Storm in MultiCountries on Wednesday, 12 December, 2012 at 18:06 (06:06 PM) UTC.

Back

Updated: Monday, 17 December, 2012 at 15:31 UTC
Description
More than 3,500 people evacuated to emergency shelters in Fiji as the biggest cyclone in 20 years swept across the Pacific island nation today, three days after the storm killed four people and destroyed thousands of homes in nearby Samoa. Tourist resorts on many of Fiji’s palm-fringed islands have been evacuated and authorities warned people to remain in shelter as Tropical Cyclone Evan battered the country, blowing over trees and destroying houses. Authorities said Cyclone Evan had generated destructive winds, torrential rains and was likely to lead to flooding due to a storm surge as it passes to the northwestern side of the main Fiji islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu, with wind gusts up to 170 mph. Fiji’s weather bureau said cyclone Evan was rated a category four storm, the second highest level, and was moving only at about 11 mph, meaning the destructive winds could last several hours.Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama ordered public servants to stay at home and he put emergency services on standby. Hospitals and health centres have been closed for all but emergency patients. Power supplies have also been cut to some areas as a precaution against falling power lines, including in the main tourist town of Nadi. Airlines grounded flights to and from Fiji, stranding about 1,900 visitors in the country. “I cannot stress enough how serious this is. Every Fijian will be affected but we must take preventative steps now,” Bainimarama said. Residents and businesses stocked up on food and put up shutters to protect shops and offices. Major roads have been closed and authorities are warning that bridges could be swamped by flood waters. Schools throughout the country were also being used as evacuation centres, with authorities saying more than 3,500 people had sought shelter by late on Monday. The Fiji Times reported rough seas and ferocious winds had forced a bulk carrier to run aground on a reef near the capital of Suva. Australia and New Zealand offered support to Fiji ahead of the storm and have search and rescue personnel on standby.

Earth Watch Report – Storms

Tourists Flee, Residents Prepare As ‘Monster’ Cyclone Bears Down On Fiji

Joshua Kuku, Agence France Presse

Business Insider

At least four people were killed when Cyclone Evan slammed into Samoa and the toll was expected to rise with a search launched for eight men missing on three fishing boats.

Only one survivor has been found, said the New Zealand Rescue Co-ordination Centre, which is overseeing the search.

After crossing Samoa, Evan intensified as it ploughed through the Pacific and forecasters said destructive winds could reach nearly 300 kilometres per hour (186 miles per hour) by the time it hits Fiji early Monday.

Government officials fear it could be as devastating as Cyclone Kina, which killed 23 people and left thousands homeless in 1993.

Squally thunderstorms were expected to flood low-lying areas while coastal villages were at risk of sea flooding, authorities said.

The international airport at Nadi was packed as 850 tourists were removed from luxury resorts on outlying islands,

“The safety of the tourists was paramount,” said Fiji Tourism and Hotel Association managing director Dixon Seeto, but with most flights booked the holidaymakers had little chance of getting out before the storm.

Fiji’s main airline Air Pacific either cancelled or rescheduled its Monday flights while other airlines said they were closely monitoring the situation..

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