Tropical Cyclone Gene crashed through the Fiji Islands between January 27 and 29, 2008. The storm was large and well-formed as it passed through Fiji, bringing high winds and heavy rain throughout the entire chain. For a significant stretch of its passage through the islands, it was rated as a Category 2 storm.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite acquired this photo-like image at 2:10 p.m. local time (2:10 UTC) on January 30, 2008. The storm has a basic spiral structure with long cloud arms wrapping around its center in a clockwise direction (characteristic of Southern Hemisphere cyclones). However, the storm system has only a faintly discernible eye, one indicator that it was no longer a powerful storm. The Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported Cyclone Gene as a Category 1 storm at the time Aqua acquired this image. It was predicted to head towards Vanuatu, and possibly to re-intensify before landfall there.
As of January 30, authorities on the Fiji Islands were reporting that power outages caused by the storm were being repaired, and sea and air transport critical to national commerce and tourism was being restored. The Fiji Disaster Management Office reported seven deaths during the time Cyclone Gene was in the islands, though it was not yet clear if all these would be blamed on the storm.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, using data provided courtesy of the MODIS Rapid Response team.
- Aqua - MODIS