AM 15 Jan 2003 - NZ PLANE
TO FLY OVER DEVESTATED AREAS OF NORTHERN FIJI
The NZ government dispatched a plane yesterday to fly over
the cyclone affected areas of northern Fiji to spend 2 days
accessing damage and the aid required. Australian aid officals
are also onboard.
DISPAC in Labasa advised late last night that they expect
Fiji Telecom people to arrive AM this morning to try and get
the main telephone in the norther region of Fiji up and
running again as soon as possible.
No reports from relatives and friends living in an around
Suva on Rabi situation. The road between Savusavu and Koroko
will be badly effected by heaving rains and flooding. No word
on the situation from Taveuni and the state of their airstrip
yet. Savusavu airstrip must be open.
TWO MISSING AFTER CYCLONE BATTERS FIJI
The Associated Press, Tue 14 Jan 2003
UVA, Fiji (AP) - A cyclone battered northern Fiji on
Tuesday, bringing huge waves that smashed houses, destroyed
crops and left two children missing and feared dead, officials
said. Cyclone Ami packed wind gusts of up to 125 mph and
sustained winds of 92 mph as it moved across the top of Vanua
Levu, the country's second-biggest island, and the Lau group
of 20 islands, Fiji's Tropical Cyclone Center said. ``It seems
we have a disaster on our hands,'' said Prime Minister
Fiji's main tourist areas in the west of Viti Levu received
heavy rains and winds, but no serious damage was reported.
Two children who ran into a church for shelter on Duradura
Island have been missing since the building collapsed, the
South Pacific nation's Disaster Management Office said. There
were no other reports of injuries. Disaster office spokesman
Alifereti Naioko said islands in the northern Lau group and
northern Vanua Levu ``received extensive damage, with houses
smashed and ... waves hitting houses and plantations along the
coastlines.'' At Labasa, a town of several thousand people on
Vanua Levu, torrential rains burst the banks of a river
running through the town center. ``It is under six feet of
water,'' Naioko said. Naioko said he had reports that people
on the island of Layau had fled to limestone caves to escape
huge waves rolling over the island. He said a New Zealand Air
Force reconnaissance plane would fly Fiji disaster assessors
over the regions early Wednesday. Qarase said he would wait
for confirmation of the severity of the damage before deciding
whether to declare a state of emergency in the affected
Rajendra Prasad, director of Fiji's cyclone center, said
the storm was the worst to hit the area since 1987 when
Cyclone Raja passed over the northern and eastern islands with
winds of a similar force.
Cyclone Ami was expected to clear Fiji on Tuesday and move
southward to pass near the main Tongan island of Tongatapu by
Early this month, inhabitants of the remote Solomon
Islands' atolls of Tikopia and Anuta were found safe and well
after Cyclone Zoe hammered the area with 220 mph winds in late
2pm Fiji - 12 noon Aust time 14 Jan 2003 - CYCLONE AMI HAS
Click On here to see the current satellite view
of CYCLONE AMI path
Have just spoken to officer at Fiji DISMAC (Disaster
Management office) Labasa who advised that Cyclone AMI had
quickly moved directly through the main notrthern island of
Vanua Levu in the area of Vuda Point and then on through Rabi
and Tavenui out towards the Lau Group.
He also reported that as we spoke on the phone, Labasa to
the north was currently under 6 feet of water and the winds
where they were located had been very bad as AMI passed
Fiji Navy Patrol boats may start out later today if weather
permits to access damage and any casualties at remote island
We will keep in touch with DISMAC who will be coordinating
any emergency efforts in the Rabi area.
8am Fiji - 6am Aust time - CYCLONE AMI HAS HIT RABI
Last contact we had with Rabi was at 2am Fiji time this
morning with Ken's brother at local Police station before
phone lines went out.
Aren Baoa in Suva advised this morning that the last heard
from Rabi was that the road had been washed out at Buakoniaki
and Uma villages. All phone lines are now down through out the
entire northern region of Vanua Levu, with weather warnings
issued stating 'Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, and also
islands in the Lau and Lomaiviti Groups' were in direct
path... Rabi is situated just 14 miles across from Taveuni
along Somosomo Strait
Reports from Australian News services state that there are
reports of major damage through out the north of Fiji and
nearby islands, with reports of houses flatened and 2 reported
deaths of children shelthering in a church on small island off
Vuda point between Labasa and Rabi island.
Aren will try and update us with information from Fiji as
soon as he hears anything.
At this stage our prayers and thoughts are all we can offer
loved ones back home.
CYCLONE AMI UPDATES - STILL HEADING TOWARDS RABI
4.30am Fiji time - 2.30am Aust time 14 Jan 03 Tried to
phone again - No phone contact now
Anyone from Fiji side with any information please email us
with updates. Will keep track now on satellite map above and
3.52am Fiji time - 1.52am Aust time 14 Jan 03 Tried to ring
Rabi again - Phones not working now on Rabi... hoping and
praying for the best
2am Fiji time - Midnight Aust time 13 Jan 03 - Rang Rabi
and spoke to Ken's brother - Biniati who is one of Rabi's -
Fiji Police currently on rescue alert. He stated that they are
now unable to go outside because of the high winds and flying
debris. Trees are starting to come down and houses are
starting to shudder.
The police have been advised that unless the cyclone
changes direction Rabi is in the direct part of the eye of
AMI. Obviously phones still operating at this stage. Ken will
ring them again in a few hours to make sure they are all still
7pm Fiji time - 5pm Australia time13 Jan 03
We have just got off the phone to Rabi with news that
Cyclone AMI was just starting to bear down towards Rabi. The
girls at Rabi's telephone exchange have advised that they will
be on duty through out the night to try and keep communication
open between Rabi and Suva...
Let's hope and pray that everyone back home remains safe
and that Rabi by some miracle will withstand the onslaught.
(Please look to the following news report from
NEWS FIJILIVE.COM 13 Jan 03
Cyclone AMI is now posing a direct threat to Fiji
especially Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, and
also islands in the Lau and Lomaiviti Groups.
Director of Meteorology, Rajendra Prasad said AMI is likely
to cause damaging gales to destructive storm force winds in
these islands from tonight or early tomorrow.
Mr Prasad said Viti Levu and rest of the Group could also
be threatened if the cyclone deviates slightly west of its
He also said "the whole of the rest of Fiji would
experience at least strong and gusty winds. Rain will be
widespread with heavy falls at least in the Northern, Central
and Eastern divisions."
Tropical Cyclone Ami is now located near 13 decimal 0 south
179 decimal 7 east or about 370 kilometers north-northeast of
Labasa or 320 kilometers east of Rotuma at 12.00 PM today.
Close to its centre the cyclone is estimated to have
destructive storm force winds with average speeds up to 110
km/hr and momentary gusts to 170 km/hr.
It is expected to pass over Vanua Levu early to-night.