Fiji braces for cyclone

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Suva, Jan 1 (IANS) Fiji on Friday issued a warning of heavy rain and strong winds as tropical cyclone Ula passed by, and urged the general public to take extra precaution during the next few days.

Ula, which developed late Wednesday, has brought stormy weather to Pacific island countries, including Fiji and Tonga, Xinhua news agency reported.

Akapusi Tuifagalele, director of Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office, urged Fijians to be vigilant.

“Tropical cyclone Ula is slowly moving at the moment but we want all Fijians to be prepared now…Parents are also urged to watch their children closely and monitor all movements,” Tuifagalele said.

Authorities have advised people living in flood-prone areas to take extra caution and to ensure that all necessary preparations are made for possible evacuations.

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Water levels have been rising in major rivers.

Meanwhile, a number of areas across the country are without power.

There are no immediate reports of cyclone-related casualties or damage.

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