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Monday, March 15, 2010

Fiji remains on full alert as Cyclone Tomas approaches

Nadi, Fiji islands – With tropical Cyclone Tomas expected to make landfall within the next 12 hours, Tourism Fiji had advised heavy winds, high seas and strong wind generated by the cyclone are now being experienced in the destination's north-eastern division.

However the national tourist office has advised while the region remains on high alert, the organisation has to date not received any reports of tourists being endangered or tourism plant suffering structural damage.

Tourism Fiji CEO Josefa Tuamoto said his Nadi-based team was remaining in regular contact with resort and hotel operators on Vanua Levu, Taveuni and Savusavu, the key tourist areas in the north-eastern area of Fiji.

While the region was experiencing heavy wind and rain squalls, no damage to date had been reported.

In instances where electricity had been shut down for safety reasons, most resorts and hotels were maintaining their own power via generators.

All resorts in the region – and in fact across the entire destination – have been on full alert since Friday and are fully equipped with food, water and emergency medical supplies and communication equipment.

Mr Tuamoto said events taking place in the north-east were a far cry from the situation in the resort areas located in western Fiji.

These, he said, included the big island of Viti Levu and the Mamanuca and Yasawa Islands, which, while maintaining a high degree of vigilance, were generally experiencing fair weather.

Disruption to services in these areas, he said, had been limited with the exception of local cruise schedules and inter-island ferry and flight services.

While all major airlines servicing the destination from Australia and New Zealand have cancelled services today (Monday), full services are expected to be resumed tomorrow (Tuesday) following individual airlines' assessment of the situation when the cyclone will have passed through the region.

Continental Airlines has rescheduled all its Guam-Nadi services.

Air Pacific services ex-Honolulu and Los Angeles to Nadi have been delayed for 24 hours.

(Full details of all Air Pacific services can be viewed at the airline'travs website located at www.airpacific.com.)

Korean Air Seoul-Nadi services are still on hold until Wednesday.

All domestic inter-island air services to Savusavu, Taveuni, Kadavu, Lavuka, the Lau Group, Mana Island and Malololailai have also been cancelled until further notice.
 
Intra-island services between Nadi and Suva have also been cancelled until further notice.

"All of Fiji will continue to remain on high alert until the full extent of the situation has been revealed, most likely by first thing tomorrow morning," Mr Tuamoto said.

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