Fiji On Alert For Cyclone Daman

UPDATE II: Sunday, 9th December. Cyclone Daman went fairly far east of Taveuni and headed south as it dissipated, avoiding widespread damage to homes and farms. On Cikobia island the latest reports I have read say that most of the homes there were destroyed along with vegetation. The 69 inhabitants took shelter in caves and were safe. This storm obviously would have been much worse had it taken a different track.

UPDATE: Thanks to Wendy of Peceli & Wendy's Blog Babasiga for keeping us informed with updates. Here is the latest tracking map which was produced at 6 AM Fiji time Saturday.

As you can see, the storm made a sharp turn eastward and the center will now pass off shore to the east of Taveuni. There is still the possibility of wind damage and flooding on eastern Vanua Levu and Taveuni. "Several homes have been flattened in Cikobia (see map). Cikobia and North Eastern parts as well as nearby islands have been experiencing destructive hurricane force winds with average speed of up to 160 km/ph and monetary gusts of up to 240 km/hr." -Fiji Times (that's 100 mph with gusts to 150 mph).

Some of the villages along the north and east coast of Taveuni are in low lying coastal areas. Also the tiny islands of the Lau group are now in its projected path. About 30 of these islands are inhabited and the total population of the group is nearly 40,000.

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1800 UTC Friday - 0600 Fiji Time, Saturday


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Satellite image of Daman - core islands of Fiji circled.

Presently at Tropical Storm strength, Cyclone Daman is about 400 km North of Nadi and on a path that will cut through the middle of the island nation. Heavy rains and flash floods as well as sea flooding in low coastal areas are expected. Winds of 80 to 100 kph (50-62 mph) are forecast.

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I hope they do a better job of getting the word out than was apparently the case last April with Cyclone Cliff, so that damage can be minimized and people kept safe.

For a first hand account of Oregon's recent "extra tropical" storms, which orinated in the Philippines and crossed the Paific (!), check out the Snabulus blog.


Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

You must be thinking of some of your friends in Taveuni now that the hurricane has changed direction. I phoned Labasa and they are getting it now but it will intensify later this afternoon she said. They have battened down to wait it out.

Pandabonium said...

Wendy - thanks for that update! I've been out and haven't looked at the situation since last night. Wow, that storm really made hard turn eastward and Labasa will be in the thick of it for sure. 'Hope everyone takes shelter and stays put until it's over.

ladybug said...

Please keep us all updated Panda! I hope the storm passes with not much damage to everyone there....

Peceli and Wendy's Blog said...

The cyclone has skirted the coast of Vanua Levu, moved past Cikobia Island and now heading for islands in the Lau group, hopefully it will be mostly over the sea.