Fiji flights cancelled as cyclone rages


Seventy-one flights to and from Fiji – including from Australian capital cities to Nadi – on Saturday on Fiji Airways and Fiji Link have been cancelled due to the category two cyclone.

Flights impacted include those flying between Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. That’s after more than 60 flights were cancelled on Friday.

Flights to and from Fiji are being affected.Source:Supplied

Other airlines, including Qantas, Jetstar and Virgin Australia also have delayed or cancelled flights on Saturday.

“Following weather assessments, and forecast adverse conditions associated with Tropical Cyclone Sarai, a number of Fiji Link and Fiji Airways services for Friday 27 December 2019 and Saturday 28 December 2019, are affected,” the Fijian carrier’s website states.

“Fiji Airways apologises for any inconvenience caused to travel plans of, and reiterates that safety is always the airline’s highest priority.” Australian authorities had warned travellers that the cyclone was to hit on Friday.

“Tropical Cyclone Sarai is expected to make landfall in Fiji on 27 December. Anticipate high winds, flooding, and storm surges,” the SmartTraveller website reads on Saturday.

“Stay in touch with friends and family, monitor local media for updates, and follow the advice of local authorities.”

A cyclone in 2018 caused huge damage in Fiji.

A cyclone in 2018 caused huge damage in Fiji.Source:Supplied

Nearly 2,000 people have been forced to flee their homes in Fiji as the cyclone lashed the Pacific island nation with heavy rain and destructive winds on Saturday.

New Zealander Melonie Sheppard, who is holidaying on Mana Island to the west of mainland Fiji, described the situation as “scary” and said their resort was in lockdown.

“We’re being hammered by intense winds and horizontal rains. The resort is providing packed meals and water direct to rooms when they can,” she told the New Zealand Herald.

“Wind is howling and tree debris flying about, doors and windows shaking, huge waves rolling into shore. Water now leaking into some rooms — it’s a bit scary at times.”

The Fiji National Disaster Management Office said as of midmorning on Saturday there had been no reports of any injuries.

Office director Vasiti Soko said emergency crews were assisting people in low lying areas to evacuate to higher ground.

On its present track, the cyclone is forecast to pass adjacent to Fiji’s main island Viti Levu then across Fiji’s southern islands before heading towards Tonga, which has activated its tropical cyclone warning centre with the storm expected to arrive late Sunday.



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