Report – By PMC News Desk
New Zealand is bracing for Cyclone Lusi this weekend after it moved to the south of Fiji and forecasters say it is no longer posing a threat to Pacific nations but they say its winds are intensifying.
The Category 3 storm, which is now about 600 km south of Nadi, has winds at its centre gusting to 215 km an hour. It is expected to start causing havoc in New Zealand by tonight.
Three people have died in Vanuatu and one is seriously injured due to the cyclone. But six more people have been reported missing.
New Zealand is bracing for a wet and windy weekend as Lusi approaches with Civil Defence issuing advisories for much of the country.
Meanwhile, the Australian Bureau of Meteorology said its modelling showed the cyclone would not pass close enough to Norfolk Island to cause any concern.
The head of Fiji’s Meteorological Service said Fiji had been spared further threatening weather as Cyclone Lusi moved to the south.
Alipate Waqaicelua said the former tropical cyclone Hadi off the coast of Queensland had helped to turn Lusi away from Fiji.
“All the activities associated with this cyclone have gone with the cyclone. We’re very fortunate that it has made an early turn towards the south, sparing Fiji from what could have been a much worse situation,” he said.
Alipate Waqaicelua said flood warnings had been lifted and the same was likely to happen to heavy swell warnings later today.
Vanuatu’s National Disaster Management Office said two people were killed by trees and one person drowned during Cyclone Lusi.
A senior liaison officer, Philip Meto, said it was still gathering information from the six provinces but communication had been difficult.
“Two of them were hit by branches of trees. And one of them they found him floating on the sea. So they believe he must be floated somewhere with the rough sea, been thrown ashore.”
Philip Meto said officials were being assisted by the Red Cross.
He said schools and government offices re-opened today.