Monday 19th Feb, 2018

TC Gita lashes Tonga, delays shipping

Image:  earth.nullschool.net

TROPICAL Cyclone Gita has roared past Tonga, with local news outlets reporting that a state of emergency has been declared in the Pacific kingdom.

The storm is currently (as of 15.15 AEST) southeast of Fiji, with winds reaching speeds of 140 kilometres per hour, and swell up to a height of 14 metres, according to earth.nullschool.net.

The storm has caused some delay to shipping in the area, with ANL announcing that the Nordserena V7552 would omit a call at Sydney to help schedule recovery due to delays caused by the cyclone.

The vessel will call at Brisbane, with an ETD on 20 February, and then it will go on to Melbourne, with an ETD on 23 February.

Export cargo from Sydney is to be directed to the ANL Barega V572N to connect to the Nordserena at Tauranga, due to depart Sydney on 21 February with a cut-off time on 19 February at 1400 hrs.

Meanwhile, MV Sofrana Surville is currently (13 February) sheltering from Cyclone Gita in Honiara.

Sofrana ANL said in a statement it was waiting for additional forecasts to become available before a decision is made as to whether it would wait in the Solomon Islands again today continue on its passage to New Zealand.

If the vessel sails today, the earliest expected arrival at Mt Maunganui would be 20 February and Auckland on 22 February, and then in Brisbane on 1 March.

Sofrana ANL issued a statement saying it would update customers again once the path of the cyclone becomes clear.

Additionally the Southern Lily is delayed. Expected to arrive in Tonga yesterday the vessel will now arrive late tomorrow (14 February).

And also, the Forum Pacific has been delayed, with an ETA to Tonga of early tomorrow morning.

Sofrana ANL noted that these delays would affect subsequent voyages and said it would update customers when possible.

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