NEWS

Weather Alert

Fijians should prepare for hazardous weather soon, says a Government weather warning that also forecasts torrential rain and flash flooding. The risk that the extreme weather could turn into a
02 Feb 2018 14:19
Weather Alert
More rain and strong winds are expected as a tropical depression is likely to change into a cyclone as forecasted by the national weather office. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fijians should prepare for hazardous weather soon, says a Government weather warning that also forecasts torrential rain and flash flooding.

The risk that the extreme weather could turn into a full-blown tropical cyclone early next week was moderate to high, a report by commercial weather service Na Draki Weather stated.

The Permanent Secretary for  Rural and Maritime Development, Disaster Management and Meteorological Services, Meleti Bainimarama, is calling on Fijians to stay alert and be prepared throughout the cyclone season.

In a public advisory issued yesterday from the Department of Information, a heavy rain warning remains and a strong wind warning for land and waters of Rotuma were now in force.

A “heavy rain warning” remains in force for Yasawa and Mamanuca groups, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu, Lau and the Lomaiviti Group.

A trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain remains slow moving over Fiji while another trough of low pressure to the North of the group is anticipated to intensify and gradually drift South towards the country.

While Fijians may see some break in the weather activity, the next three days is expected to bring increasing rain, becoming frequent and heavy at times and thunderstorms as the trough remain slow moving and a tropical low developing to the West of the country during this period. 

Early into next week, the tropical low is expected to intensify into a tropical disturbance and possibly deepen into a Tropical Depression.

The current guidance suggests it may pass close to the country and associated rain and strong winds, which can be gusty at times and is likely to affect the country from Monday.

In areas of localised and frequent heavy rain, there is increasing risk of flash flooding and flooding of low-lying areas.

With the forecasted rainy conditions in the coming days and early next week, there will be an increasing risk of catchment level flooding.

The weather conditions will be closely monitored and the public will be appropriately advised through alert and warning as the situation worsens.

All communities are advised to remain prepared, get updated with the latest weather information and take alerts and warnings seriously and act responsibly to save life and property.

Police issued a blanket warning to motorists, mariners and parents alike to take precautions during the extreme conditions.

Chief of Operations Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police Maretino Qiolevu said: “Our officers will be moving out to flood prone areas to ensure everyone takes the necessary safety precautions.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

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