Tropical Cyclone Evan: Updates from Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Evan Moves to Fiji

Nadi, Fiji

Tropical Cyclone Evan is headed for the islands of Fiji tonight. I’ll be blogging LIVE updates before, during, and after this major storm. Keep us in your thoughts…

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Nadi is Fiji’s 3rd largest city, and home to an international airport. Located on the Western coast of Viti Levu, the largest of Fiji’s 300+ islands.

The population of Nadi hovers around 42,000.

Latest estimates show Tropical Cyclone Evan will turn into a Category 4 (maybe 5) storm and pass just North/West of Nadi. But there’s also a chance it will barrel right over the town.

Either way we’ll certainly be feeling it’s effects.

The Samoan capital of Apia was recently hit hard by the storm on Thursday, December 13th. Severe flooding, demolished homes, and loss of life: but only a Category 2 when it struck.

Before the Storm: Streets of Nadi

First Time Visiting Fiji

I’ve been traveling through Fiji for the past 3 weeks — starting out as a guest of the Fiji Tourism Board. I loved the country so much I decided to stick around on my own & keep exploring!

Some of my amazing Fiji adventures include drinking Kava with a village chief, jumping out of an airplane for the first time, hiking to remote waterfalls, island hopping, and SCUBA diving with sharks.

Not to mention the warmth & friendliness of the Fijian people. It’s been an absolute blast, and I can’t wait to write more about my time here in Fiji. 😀

But TC Evan will be my very first cyclone/hurricane. So I’m going to do what I do best and record that experience here on my website — as it happens.

Before the Storm: The Nadi River

Live Updates from Cyclone Evan

Now who knows what will happen. Maybe Cyclone Evan will do what most Fijians are praying for and veer North with no real effects other than a lot of rain. But my gut tells me that’s not going to be the case.

I’ll be updating this page with photos and stories from around Nadi as the storm passes over us.

At least for as long as my internet access holds up.

I’m currently sheltering at Nadi Bay Resort a few miles North of Nadi. It’s next to Nadi International Airport, and about a mile from the ocean: [Google Map]

Cyclone Evan is expected to make landfall in Fiji on Sunday evening, December 16th (Fiji time). But it won’t pass near Nadi (where I’m located) until Monday or Tuesday.

Wish us luck.

Check back to learn about new developments & see photos/video from the storm. You can follow my updates on Twitter here: Twitter.com/ExpertVagabond

Have you ever experienced a hurricane/cyclone? Any tips for me?

Disaster Coming? Let’s Have a Drink!

UPDATE: Preparing for the Storm Fijian Style

Sunday December 16th, 2:30pm

I’ve spent the past two days wandering around Nadi Town talking to local Fijians about the storm. I’m surprised most don’t seem to be doing much preparation.

Some guys from Nakovacake Village invited me to sit & drink with them. As he poured me a beer into the communal glass, Nimi explained that Fijians just have faith it will pass by. What have they done wrong? Nothing. So God should spare them.

While that’s a nice sentiment, I don’t have as much faith as Nimi.

My hotel says they’re prepared. But I’ve picked up some extra food, water, candles, and batteries today anyway.

I’m a firm believer that you can’t expect others to save you. Especially governments. Just look at what happened during Hurricane Katrina in the United States.

But I also grabbed a bottle of rum & some kava. When it doubt, do what the locals do! 😀


Nadi Businesses Prepare for Cyclone Evan

Wind is Picking Up

Even though Cyclone Evan isn’t supposed to unleash it’s true wrath on the Nadi area until Monday, skies are dark and the wind has noticeably increased. No heavy rain yet.

Local business were securing their shops this afternoon — covering windows with shutters or plywood, and taking down signs. Sandbags line the front doors of many banks. The supermarket was much busier today too. I watched a few people buy generators.

Skies Darken Over Fiji

UPDATE: Cyclone Evan Approaches

Sunday December 16th, 9pm

You can clearly see the storm begin to take shape over the islands now. Dark clouds have enveloped the skies above. While walking past sugarcane fields down to the ocean at sunset, I watched families attach corrugated aluminum over the widows of their homes.

It’s estimated that Cyclone Evan will reach Nadi around 6pm on Monday. [source]

I bought a pineapple on the side of the road from a woman named Sangita. She remembers when Cyclone Daphne struck last spring, flooding the area around her home.

But she didn’t seem that worried about Evan, even telling me to stop by her fruit-stand tomorrow. I really hope her small house isn’t underwater tomorrow…

Travelers Trying to Flee Before Evan Strikes

Long Lines at the Airport

Nadi International Airport is packed with people trying to find flights out before Cyclone Evan arrives Monday morning. The air-conditioning in the airport isn’t running either, so it’s pretty hot in there.

Flights to Honolulu & LA are still scheduled to leave Sunday night. But that could change depending on how the weather holds up.

Cyclone Evan on Monday Night

UPDATE: Video Footage from the Storm

Wednesday December 19th, 11am

Category 4 Cyclone Evan passed over us in Fiji on Monday night. It was a wild storm, but the damage is not as bad as it could have been. The eye of the cyclone was centered about 28 miles off the coast of Nadi, so we were spared the worst of the wind.

There is plenty of damage though. Large trees down all over the place blocking roads, power & water is out, billboards & signs litter the area. Roofs from homes & businesses are missing too. Small aircraft at Nadi International Airport have been destroyed.

But it seems that there have been no deaths and minimal injuries. Fiji will hopefully recover quickly.

See some of my video footage from the storm & it’s aftermath below.

Watch Video: Cyclone Evan Hits Fiji

(Click to watch Cyclone Evan Fiji: Storm & Aftermath on YouTube)

Want to Help?

Would you like to lend a hand to the rural communities & families negatively affected by Tropical Cyclone Evan? The Australian Red Cross has set up a page for donations. Every little bit helps!

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