Up to 11 cyclones could hit the South Pacific before the end of April 2019, according to climate forecasters.
The forecast was officially released during the fourth Pacific Islands Climate Outlook Forum on October 10-12 in Fiji.
Warm conditions are forecast throughout the Pacific Islands, which is expected to bring seven to 11 tropical cyclones for the November 2018 to April 2019 cyclone season.
Forecasters have warned the conditions could lead to adverse outcomes in the Pacific, including coral bleaching and the loss of marine life.
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Tagaloa Cooper-Halo, director of the Climate Change Resilience Programme at SPREP, said people need to be prepared.
“This season we are expecting a high number of cyclones and typhoons for the Pacific region, and for our islands, early warning and preparation is extremely important and highlights the key role our Pacific Met Services play,” she said.
The forecast is similar to last year, where seven to 11 cyclones were forecast in the area.
At the time it was estimated it would cost millions to clean up all the damage left behind from Fehi.
Dr Jim Salinger told The Project in February that New Zealand may have to retreat from some of its coastal areas due to increasing numbers of damaging storms.
“Fourteen of our 17 largest towns and cities are coastal,” he said.
“Then we’ve got all the infrastructure like rail and road that connects them. So really we have to survey the lot then make the large decisions.”