So as many of you have heard, we are currently expecting Cyclone Evan to hit the Fiji group tomorrow night between 6pm and Monday morning. The cyclone has already devastated parts of Samoa and has been gathering speed over the past few days while making its way to Fiji. The predicted tracks from a few days ago had it headed straight through Taveuni Island and then barreling towards Ovalau in the Lomaiviti group where I am at a Category 4 or Category 5 Cyclone.
A Category 4 Cyclone has a 10 minute mean wind speed of between 159 and 200 Kilometers per hour and a maximum three second gust of between 235-279 kilometers per hour. A category 5 cyclone has a 10 minute mean wind speed of more than 200 kilometers per hour and a maximum three second gust of more than 280 kilometers per hour.
Coastal communities are being warned in East facing villages to prepare for storm surge and significant flooding. My village (in Fijian literally translated means “the east”…)
The volunteers living on Ovalau (now there are 3 of us) have been evacuated and consolidated at a “safer” place in the Capital City for the duration of the storm. I know it is for the best that we are here, but it is the absolute last place I want to be right now. I want to be with my village, preparing my house, staying with everyone and drinking grog by the glow of a hurricane lamp until this passes.
Up until now, the weather has been fine, in Suva today there was a bit of rain and general cloudiness which we expect to just increase in the next 24 hours. Water and power supplies along with cell lines and land lines are expected to be cut off when the cyclone approaches and hits the Fiji Group.
The newest projection models show the track of Cyclone Evan going slightly farther north than was previously predicted making me wish even more that I had been able to stay in my village.
I will keep everyone updated as possible about the situation here- but please look up any information online that you may need. The Fiji Sun and Fiji Times are our two English newspapers out here and they have been featuring numerous articles about Cyclone Evan.