Cyclone Zena due to hit Fiji six weeks after Winston

Fiji is preparing for another harrowing blow as Cyclone Zena tracks towards the island nation where locals are already struggling with widespread flooding.

Zena, a category 2 tropical cyclone approaching Fiji, comes just six weeks after the country was ravaged by Cyclone Winston.

Meanwhile, flights to Fiji have been cancelled due to heavy rain, ahead of the storm.

Suva-based meteorologist Neville Koop said Fiji was experiencing "quite phenomenal rain" ahead of the cyclone's arrival, which had caused widespread flooding.

Nadi is already dealing with widespread flooding and the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, now Cyclone Zena is due to touch ...
FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Nadi is already dealing with widespread flooding and the aftermath of Cyclone Winston, now Cyclone Zena is due to touch down in the early hours of Thursday morning.

There were still a lot of people living rough after Winston destroyed homes and structures throughout the island group, Koop said.

READ MORE:
* More weather misery for Fijians still recovering from Cyclone Winston
* Fiji will recover from Cyclone Winston but needs support
* Fiji storm: Death toll rises in wake of Cyclone Winston
* Cyclone Winston: Death toll rises, families turn to prayer

 
Widespread flooding could make it difficult for people to get to evacuation centres when Zena hits.
FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Widespread flooding could make it difficult for people to get to evacuation centres when Zena hits.

 

"There are still issues with Winston and now we have a new threat.

"This makes this event far worse than it otherwise would have been if it otherwise occurred on its own."

Torrential rain has also affected flights in and out of Fiji.
FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

Torrential rain has also affected flights in and out of Fiji.

TC Zena forecast track map, now a Category 2 Cyclone, estimated to have average winds of 83km/hr and monetary gust wind...

Posted by Ministry of Rural & Maritime Development and National Disaster Management on  Tuesday, April 5, 2016
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Zena was approaching Fiji from Vanuatu and tracking to pass south of the main island - opposite to the course taken by Winston.

It was due to hit between midnight and 6am on Thursday morning, with Suva and surrounding areas bearing the brunt of the storm.

A Suva-based meteorologist says Fiji will be recovering from the effects of these two storms for years, if not decades.
FIJIAN GOVERNMENT

A Suva-based meteorologist says Fiji will be recovering from the effects of these two storms for years, if not decades.

Winds are expected to gust up to 130 kilometres an hour, with wind speeds averaging about 90kmh.

Koop said while the winds would be nowhere near as severe as Winston's top winds of 325kmh it was "nothing to be sneezed at".

Buildings in Fiji were not designed to stand those sorts of wind speeds and there would no doubt be significant damage.

But the main issue with the latest storm was the flooding, he said.

Roads had been cut off so people who needed to seeks shelter at evacuation centres would not be able to get there and officials would struggle to get resources to them before and after the storm.

Koop said he expected the effects of the two storms on the country's economy - in terms of agriculture and tourism - to last for years, if not decades.

+++++ UPDATE ON TROPICAL CYCLONE ZENA+++++TROPICAL CYCLONE WARNING A GALE WARNING REMAINS IN FORCE FOR MAMANUCA...

Posted by Fiji Meteorological Service on  Tuesday, April 5, 2016

The people of Fiji felt much like the people of Christchurch, he said.

They are hit with a disaster and always hope it will be the last but the hits keep coming.

However, the people of Fiji were "pretty resilient" and they would rebuild, Koop said.

FLIGHTS CANCELLED

Air NZ has cancelled one inbound and one outbound flight due to the weather in Fiji on Wednesday.

Flights NZ752 and NZ753 had been cancelled.

Fiji Airways has also cancelled its service to Fiji on Wednesday.

Air NZ has also offered passengers the option of changing their travel plans due to the flooding in Nadi.

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