One dead, one missing as Tropical Cyclone Zena heads to Fiji

By Corazon Miller, Lynley Bilby

Flooding at Sigatoka. Photo: Jackson Bhaic/NaDraki Weather Facebook page
Flooding at Sigatoka. Photo: Jackson Bhaic/NaDraki Weather Facebook page

While Cyclone Zena is yet to touchdown in Fiji torrential rain has already hit the nation causing widespread flooding in parts causing the death of at least one person.

The Fiji Broadcasting Corporation reported a 70-year-old man was found floating in the Sabeto River on Tuesday morning.

Meanwhile a 19-year-old girl was reported missing after being washed away by strong currents in the river on the main island of Fiji, Viti Levu.

Numerous roads have been closed and people living in temporary shelter have been told to seek shelter elsewhere in a nearby evacuation centre.

People throughout the country were still picking up the pieces left behind from Cyclone Winston lashing the country just a few weeks ago, when the government issued a fresh storm alert.

Flooding at Sigatoka. Photo: Jackson Bhai/NaDraki Weather Facebook page
Flooding at Sigatoka. Photo: Jackson Bhai/NaDraki Weather Facebook page

Warnings have gone out for the central Lau and Lomaiviti island groups to prepare for damaging winds and flooding as Tropical Cyclone Zena tracks towards to the disaster-ravaged Pacific island nation.


Posted by Fijian Government on Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The latest alert says the Category 1 cyclone was 900km to the north west of Nadi earlier today, intensifying as it approached. The cyclone was expected to sit 150km south-southeast of Nadi at 3am tomorrow.

At the moment, average wind speeds at Zena's centre was 85km/h with gusts of 120km/h.

A gale warning was in force for Viti Levu, Kadavu and Mamanuca group with strong winds expected across the rest of Fiji.

All schools in the country have been closed until further notice.

Fiji's education minister Doctor Mahendra Reddy says further announcements would be made when the cyclone had passed Fiji.

Meanwhile adding to the list of woes is Fiji's being added to the Zika Virus Travel Warning list.

The Centre for Disease Control yesterday added the pacific island nation to its list of countries affected by the disease.

Transmitted by mosquitos, it manifests similar to the flu, but there've been concerns that pregnant women could transmit the disease to their unborn babies, with serious consequences.

Until more is known the New Zealand Ministry of Health recommended women who were pregnant or planning to become pregnant consider delaying travel to the affected areas.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Travel has not advised against travel to the area, but encouraged travellers with imminent plans to check with their tourism providers.

- NZ Herald

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