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Tonga, Fiji – Tropical Cyclone Winston (GDACS, JTWC, NASA, Vanuatu Met. Services, Fiji Met. Service, Media) (ECHO Daily Flash of 19 February 2016)

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  • On 19 February at 0.00 (UTC), Tropical Cyclone WINSTON had max. sustained winds of 204 km/h and its centre was located 130 km north-west of Vava'u (Tonga).
  • In Tonga, local media reported approx. 2 500 people inside the evacuations centres, 10 houses destroyed and another 200 damaged, as of early 19 February.
  • Over the next 24 h, TC WINSTON is forecast to continue moving west-southwest, slightly strengthening and it may reach Lakeba island (Fiji) late on 19 February, with max. sustained winds of 200-215 km/h. Then it is forecast to continue moving throughout the group of islands of Lau, Kandavu and close to Viti Levu, still as an intense Tropical Cyclone. It may start moving away from Fiji on 22-23 February.
  • Based on this forecast, heavy rains, strong winds and storm surge may affect several areas of Fiji on 19-23 February, especially the eastern islands. As of 19 February morning, a Storm Warning is in force for the islands of Lakeba, Oneata, Moce, Komo, Namuka, Nayau, Ogea Vanuavatu and Kabara, while a Tropical Cyclone Alert for Kadavu, the eastern half of Viti Levu and the eastern half of Vanua Levu.