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Archived News: January 2019

From Fiji Times Online (5 January 2019)

Rotuma spared by TC Mona

By Vilimaina Naqelevuki

TROPICAL Cyclone Mona has intensified to a Category 2 cyclone, the National Disaster Management Office has confirmed.

The NDMO has also confirmed that after receiving reports from Rotuma, TC Mona had no devastating effect on the island.

Staff Nurse of Rotuma Hospital Kaushik Ram said the people on the island were thankful that the winds did not affect them.

He said they were happy that the cyclone had passed without causing much damage.

"There were no major damage on the island and we're happy that now the winds have passed and diverted away from the island," he said.

Ancella Vafo'ou, while speaking from Malniu, on the district of Motusa said the weather on the island was normal again.

"The weather is now fine, there's now only slight rain but either than that we're all fine here on the island," she said.

From Radio New Zealand (3 January 2019)

Fiji's Rotuma spared by unpredictable Cyclone Mona

The Fiji Meteorological Service says the northern island of Rotuma was fortunate enough to have Cyclone Mona pass to its east rather than over the island.

The track of the category one storm was initially projected to head for the island which is home to around 2,000 people.

However Acting Director Viliame Vereivalu said the storm ended up veering slightly away.

"It went to the right, on the east of Rotuma so it already passed Rotuma and already we cancelled the gale warning for Rotuma by this morning," he said.

There have been no reports of damage or injury on Rotuma.

Mona has slightly gained strength as it has moved south towards the larger islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

Initially the forecast probability of Mona intensifying into a category two storm decreased overnight but the latest projections have it gaining strength again.

Mr Vereivalu said that is the nature of cyclones.

"Nothing is confirmed yet. There is always uncertainty in the forecast track, intensity and the timing."

Mr Vereivalu said Mona was currently packing winds of up to 120km/hr and was forecast to move south-southwest and close to the island Vanua Levu tomorrow morning.