Cyclone Zena weakens and quickly passes western Fiji

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Overnight curfew in Fiji now lifted. Image: FBC News

By Matilda Simmons in Suva

As quickly as Tropical Cyclone Zena arrived, it has dissipated dramatically.

According to the latest data it would be difficult to even sustain as a category 1 cyclone.

Na Draki weather forecaster Neville Koop said the most significant impacts associated with TC Zena had already passed the west and occurred along the south coast of Viti Levu.

Squally winds, likely no more than 90kmph in gusts, were experienced around Suva and Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, but were not dangerous.

“Weather will improve in the  morning as the system moves east over Lau. Little if any effects will be experienced about the north of the country other than some squally northwest to westerly winds,” Koop said.

“We have prepared well for the risks presented to us earlier in the day. Fortunately mother nature has been kind to us and the extremely hazardous weather anticipated has failed to materialise.

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“We can still expect some very strong northwest to westerly wind squalls over coming hours with a few heavy passing showers but nothing like the weather conditions that were expected.

Weather clears
“With the cyclone, or what is left of it, moving so quickly, weather will be largely clear from the western and central divisions.

“Flood waters will take some time to recede over the west, however with no more heavy rain falling and nothing further of any significance expected, river levels will start to drop quickly after sunrise about the west.”

Fiji Broadcasting News reported that a nationwide curfew, in place since 6pm last night, had been lifted.

National Disaster Management Office’s Permanent Secretary Meliti Bainimarama confirmed  that the order had now been lifted and the general public were free to move around and resume normal activities.

The University of the South Pacific announced that staff would be on duty as normal today.

Matilda Simmons is a Fiji Times reporter.

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