MV 'Otuanga’ofa Sails Despite Strong Wind Warning

A research and fact finding saw MV ‘Otuanga’ofa the chance to sail amid gale warning in force for all the island groups of Tonga.

The MV ‘Otuanga’ofa left Nuku’alofa this evening for the northern islands under the direction of the  CEO of the operator, – Friendly Island Shipping agency  (FISA), Mr.  Vakautapola Vi.

He told Radio  & TV Tonga News that, “their decision to go ahead with their schedule was based on research they made and certified facts that it was safe to travel despite the weather condition.

Tonga Meteorological Services (TMS) this afternoon 15 of January released its latest updates saying that “the tropical cyclone alert previously in force for Vava’u and Ha’apai groups is now cancelled.” and ” the strong wind warning remains in force for all of Tonga”.

TMS latest updates:

The tropical depression 08f centre was located near 19 decimal 4 south 174 decimal 5 west or about 100km south-southwest of vavau or 50km  north northwest of lifuka at 10:00am this morning.the depression is moving  east-southeast at 20 km/hr.the average winds close to the centre

is estimated to be about 45km/hr. the possibility of the system to become a

tropical cyclone in the next 24-48 hours is now downgraded to moderate and the .

Damaging gale force winds associated with the depression is now not expected to  directly affect tonga.

For niuafo’ou, niuatoputapu,haa’pai and vava’u north to northwest winds 35-45 km/h with gusts to 65km/h and winds gradually turning west and decreasing.  rough to very seas.

Periods of rain, heavy at times especially about vava’u and the niuas.

For the rest of Tonga:

East to southeast winds 30 to 40 km/hr with gust up to 60km/h. Occasional rain

Rough seas. Moderate swells.

Tides:

Low tide:  04:20pm

high tide: 10:30pm

Mean sea level pressure at 12:00pm at Lifuka was 999.8mb and at Lupepau’u Airport was 1001.6mb

This will be the last tropical cyclone advisory for Tonga on tropical depression 08f

The next weather bulletin for tonga will be the routine bulletin at 7pm today.

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