Updated 10:29 PM ET, Tue December 15, 2020 (CNN) A powerful storm is barreling down on Fiji, bringing hurricane-force winds to the Pacific island nation. Posted December 17, 2020 1:47 am . Tropical Cyclone Yasa is heading straight for Fiji. In 2020 in the North Atlantic basin, all of the statistics fell well above listed, featuring a record-breaking 30 tropical storms, 13 hurricanes, and 6 major hurricanes, with an ACE total of 178. The system is more than 400km across, the acting director of the Nadi weather office, Terry Atalifo, said, and damaging rain and winds are expected for days. Raiwaqa crossing on Kavanagasau Rd in Sigatoka is closed due to flooding as tropical Cyclone Yasa approaches Fiji. I urge communities to use this time to take steps to keep your homes and communities safe. Yasa would "easily surpass" the strength of 2016's Cyclone Winston, Bainimarama said, referring to the Southern Hemisphere's most intense tropical storm on record, which killed more than 40 Fijians and left tens of thousands of people homeless. Fiji: Cyclones - Actual and forecasted storm tracks of Tropical Cyclones Yasa and Zazu (as at 16 Dec 2020) Format Map Source. Tropical Cyclone Yasa moves toward Fiji yesterday. Every Fijian should prepare now for heavy rain, damaging winds, coastal inundation, and flooding across the country. ET Wednesday) with people living in low-lying areas urged to move to higher ground before nightfall, Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said in a video posted to Facebook. While making the announcement, Fiji’s Director for National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) Vasiti Soko said that developments may lead to additional regulations, reports Xinhua news agency. (Image credit: NASA Worldview) Fiji is bracing for the potentially catastrophic impact of category 5 Tropical Cyclone Yasa, which is expected to make landfall Thursday morning (U.S. EST) as a high-end category 4 storm. The storms are the first to form in the South Pacific’s cyclone season, which runs until May next year. Suva, Dec 17 (IANS) Fiji on Thursday declared a 30-day state of natural disaster as the category 5 tropical cyclone Yasa hit the island country. — Picture by Patricia Mallam via Reuters pic.twitter.com/aAbw3J2OlS. For example, 0000 UTC Saturday is 1200 Saturday Fiji time. Cyclone Yasa is projected to intensify and strike parts of Fiji with wind speeds that may reach 230 kilometres per hour – potentially a Category 5 storm. Evacuations ordered in Fiji as Yasa strengthens into a category five system with winds of up to 270km/h, Last modified on Tue 15 Dec 2020 23.46 GMT. Accessed December 16, 2020. Duncan said parts of Fiji were forecast to get up to 400mm of rain, and waves of up to 10 metres were predicted off the country’s western coast. ⬇️The threat map and track map of TC Yasa[cat 5⃣] issued this morning. Fiji's location is superimposed. Residents wade through the flooded streets in Fiji's capital city of Suva on December 16, 2020, ahead of super Cyclone Yasa. An average Atlantic hurricane season features 12 tropical storms, 6 hurricanes, and 3 major hurricanes, and features an Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) count of 106. ET) Thursday, the center of Yasa was forecast to be 100 km (62 miles) east of the village of Yasawa-i-Rara and potentially over Fiji's fifth-most populous province of Bua, home to 15,000 people, the office said. Fiji and Tonga issued severe weather warnings Tuesday as twin cyclones intensified near the Pacific island nations. Fishing fleets have been ordered back to port. 17 Dec, 2020 04:58 AM 3 minutes to read. Updated December 17, 2020 3:07 pm. Fiji + 1 more. By 8 p.m. (2 a.m. He said the archipelago nation of about 900,000 people must again prepare for a worst-case scenario, just eight months after it last endured a lashing from a super-storm. Citizens were told to evacuate low-lying areas in anticipation of a storm that will likely have category 4 or 5 strength when it arrives on December 17, 2020. For example, 1800 UTC Saturday is 0600 Sunday Fiji time. This photo taken Dec. 19, 2020, and released by Fiji Red Cross shows devastation after remote villages were flattened by Cylone Yasa on Vanua Levu Island. Tropical Cyclone Yasa has intensified into a top-of-the-scale category five super-storm in the Pacific and remains on track to hit Fiji this week, forecasters said on Wednesday. Fiji Meteorological Service (2020) Severe TC Yasa intensifies further into a category 5 system and slow moving toward Fiji. Fiji's National Disaster Management Office warned the cyclone could generate waves as high as 16 meters (52 feet). The United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warns that even well built homes could face "severe damage" as a result of winds more than 200 kph (124 mph), while trees and power poles could be downed, bringing more destruction and disruption. Bainimarama said Fijians should board up their homes, prepare emergency supplies and have a route planned to their nearest evacuation centre. “We should all prepare now for heavy rain, damaging winds, coastal inundation and flooding across the country,” he said in a national address. ... Cyclone … This prediction is from a joint modelling work between researchers from University of Newcastle and National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA), New Zealand. Strong cyclones have become increasingly common in the Pacific in recent years, something Bainimarama has put down to climate change. Yasa is moving slowly, according to Fiji’s meteorological office, at about 8km/h, but gathering in strength. Fiji is "smack bang in the firing line" of a major tropical cyclone that could be life-threatening for some on lower-lying islands. The impact on Fiji's Vanua Levu Island is likely to be devastating, but major populated areas spared of direct hit. Zazu, which is north-east of Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, is rated a category one system, with winds of up to 90km/h (55mph). The Fiji government on Thursday declared a nationwide curfew and ordered residents to take shelter as “super storm” Yasa made landfall as a category 4 … Every one of us must treat these climate-fuelled catastrophes with deadly seriousness," Bainimarama wrote in a Facebook post Thursday. Tropical Cyclone Yasa pummelled the Fiji archipelago with strong winds and heavy rain. "My fellow Fijians, as the world is getting warmer these storms are getting stronger. Fiji has been warned to prepare for category-5 tropical Cyclone Yasa, which is expected to directly hit the Pacific Island state in coming days. Fiji + 2 more. 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