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OCHA Flash Update #3 Fiji & Tonga | TC Zena - 7 April 2016

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Situation Report
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Dear Colleagues,

This is the third OCHA Flash Update on Category 2 TC Zena.

Fiji’s main island of Viti Levu has been spared a second major disaster in as many months with Tropical Cyclone Zena weakening to Category 2 system and quickly moving towards Tonga. In the early hours of the morning, the cyclone passed under the southern island of Kadavu, after bringing heavy falls and gusty winds to Viti Levu’s already rain-soaked south-west corner. The cyclone weakened rapidly as it slipped further south and away from the capital Suva, where there was little impact.

The heavy rain meant it was a miserable night for the thousands of Fijians who still remain in transitional accommodation after Tropical Cyclone Winston in February. More than 8000 people took shelter in evacuation centres, mostly in the Western Division, as the flooding and cyclone reached their peak. The weather has now dramatically improved in most areas and flood waters are starting to subside. Health and hygiene concerns remain including the risk of mosquito and water-borne diseases. Food security is a concern with the heavy rain badly affecting the country’s vegetable growing areas and washing away replacement seeds and seedlings planted after TC Winston.

The overnight nationwide curfew has now been lifted but schools remain closed. Most roads are open this morning but there are potholes in many areas and authorities are working to quickly clear flood debris. The ongoing State of Natural Disaster since TC Winston means the National Disaster Management Office still has its central coordination system activated and is ready to respond to needs as they are identified today. A Pacific Humanitarian Team Meeting was convened yesterday and clusters are on standby to respond. The Food Security Cluster will meet today to discuss plans for further seed distributions to replace those which have washed away.

While the system is weakening, the current Fiji Met Service Track Map currently has the Cyclone quickly moving towards Tonga as a weak Category 2 system, arriving around lunchtime. The Tonga Met Service reports that a Storm Warning is in force for 'Eua, Tongatapu and Ha'apai. A Gale Warning is in force for Vava'u. These islands are expected to experience damaging sea swells, heavy rain and possible flash flooding.

For further information, please contact the OCHA Regional Office for the Pacific:

Sune Gudnitz, Head of Office
gudnitz@un.org, +679 999 1664

Danielle Parry, Public Information Officer
parryd@un.org, +679 777 1433

Additional information is also available on the following websites:
www.unocha.org/rop
https://pht.humanitarianresponse.info
https://reliefweb.int

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.