Editorial comment – Watching the weather

Tropical Depression 04F (TD04F) is now called Tropical Cyclone Tino (RC Tino). Picture: SUPPLIED/FIJI MET

As the Fiji Meteorological Service continues to keep a close eye on the system hovering above us, we have an opportunity to reflect on safety issues.

The weather office is monitoring a high pressure system to the far South of Fiji which is pushing the impending tropical cyclone Tino further East, away from Vanua Levu.

There is a possibility the system would be tracking further away from land.

“When we started this journey with this system, it was in the West of the Yasawas, then it came towards Western Viti Levu and then to Vanua Levu,” said Fiji Met director Misaeli Funaki.

He said it kept moving further eastwards because there was a high pressure system to the far South of Fiji.

“This system is pushing northwards and in doing so, it is displacing the system to the East,” he said.

TD04F was expected to have formed into tropical cyclone Tino early this morning.

As interest focuses on the weather system, we have an opportunity to reflect on issues that are important for our safety.

Every year we are reminded to stay away from floodwaters.

We are reminded about the danger posed by tropical cyclones.

We are reminded about the need for awareness.

We are reminded to organise ourselves on the home front, replenishing supplies if we haven’t already done so, and being proactive in terms of securing property, and livestock for rural dwellers.

Cyclones have not just popped out of a box.

We have an annual cyclone season stretching from November to April.

We live in a region that is quite active in terms of cyclones.

Our challenge continues to be on safety, and how well we brace ourselves for such a natural disaster. So let’s keep a tab on weather reports.

Let’s stock up on essentials such as batteries for torches, candles, food and check to ensure our homes are secure.

Let’s remind family members about safety tips, evacuation plans and to be alert.

Let’s stay away from flooded rivers and rough seas.

Let’s not attempt to cross flooded bridges, or crossings.

Common sense will dictate that we adhere to actions that will keep us safe.

It is unfortunate that every year we still have people playing with death.

When Tropical Cyclone Sarai cut a path to the south of the Fiji Group a few weeks ago, children were still seen swimming in floodwaters and out at sea.

Accidents happen because we allow them to.

We hope people are mindful of safety in the face of this weather system.

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