| Australia, Fiji bracing for tropical cyclones
| Monday, March 15, 2010
|A tropical cyclone in the Coral Sea in expected to move south over the next two days as it continues to move towards Australia's Queensland coast.
Tropical Cyclone Ului moved into the Australian tracking area overnight and is currently about 15-hundred kilometres east of Lockhart River on Cape York.
Forecaster Scott Carpentier says it was downgraded from a category five to a category four cyclone overnight.
"It's still about 1,500 kilometres away, so it's very difficult to ascertain where it will end up," he said.
"It's certainly not going to impact anywhere on the Queensland coast within the next few days. It wouldn't be until later on in the week that if it continued on in its westward trajectory that it would impact on the coast.:
Tropical Cyclone Ului passed by the southern island group of the Solomon Islands overnight.
Late on Sunday disaster management officials in Solomon Islands were warning people on the islands of Rennell and Bellona to prepare for strong winds.
Tony Wedd from the Brisbane Tropical Cyclone Warning Service says the category five cyclone is now moving west at around 15 kilometres an hour.
He says Rennell island was most likely the worst affected.
"The winds there would be at least gale force or maybe even a little stronger it certainly didn't miss Rennell island by too much," he said.
Fiji braces for Tomas
Tropical cyclone Tomas is expected to make landfall late on Monday in the northern islands and provinces of Fiji, where emergency workers have been preparing for the storm.
A hurricane warning was issued late on Sunday for Cikobia island.
A storm warning was in force for the eastern Vanua Levu, and nearby smaller islands -- and a gale warning was in force for the rest of Vanua Levu and Taveuni.
A tropical cyclone alert is in force for the rest of Fiji.
Disaster management teams have been working for the last few days to make sure residents and medical sentres are ready.
The category four storm formed on Friday near the French territory of Wallis and Futuna and forecasters say it has intensified, and has winds of up to 230 kilometres an hour.
|posted by Moderator Londen time 4:09 PM