Pacific Briefs

Tuesday February 26, 2019 Written by Published in Regional

cyclone forming west of samoa 

SAMOA – The potential for a tropical depression northwest of Samoa to develop into a cyclone is high, the Samoa Meteorology Division says.

Depression TD11F was about 500km northwest of Apia, tracking south towards the west of Samoa. “The potential for this system to develop into a Tropical Cyclone in the next 24-36 hours is high,” the Met Division said. The bulletin also said heavy rain and strong winds would affect most locations and that flooding and landslides were possible in low-lying and vulnerable areas. Mariners were warned about high swells and rough seas, while dangerous surf was also possible for coastal locations. Meanwhile, neighbouring American Samoa is also bracing for strong wind and more heavy rain. The National Weather Service in Pago Pago has issued a storm watch for Tutuila, Aunu`u, Manu`a and Swains Island.


FIJI – A leading academic at Fiji National University says childhood obesity has become such a problem in the Pacific that some children may have shorter lives than their parents. William May said childhood obesity is a growing problem in the region, affecting their health and also increasing the risk of diabetes and heart disease. Dr May said action in areas like physical activity promotion, reducing children’s exposure to food marketing, taxes on sugar-sweetened beverages and boosting child obesity surveillance is sorely needed. He said strong political will is needed. “We really are not taking this lightly in addressing obesity in children. The fear that we have is that we don’t want adults burying their children.” Dr May said some research from Wallis and Futuna has shown sustained intervention through schools can produce positive results.


FIJI – Fiji sevens captain Kalione Nasoko hopes his drink driving charge can be a warning to others not to assume they’re okay to get behind the wheel. The 28-year-old was arrested earlier this month after failing a roadside breathalyser test near Nadi. He had assumed he had rested well the previous night and was clear to drive the following morning but his blood alcohol concentration of 0.027 percent was in excess of the legal limit for his provisional driver’s license. He pleaded guilty in court last week and apologised to the Fijian community. “To represent Fiji as a member of the Fiji sevens team is an honour and a privilege and one that I cherish greatly,” he said. “I made a mistake when I decided to drive my vehicle that morning. That I know and I acknowledge that error of judgement and am regretful for the decision I made.” Nasoko was granted bail from the courts and travelled to the United States with the rest of the Fiji sevens team on Friday for this weekend’s World Series tournament in Las Vegas.


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