NEWS

Cyclone Harold: Kadavu, Ono-i-Lau May Be Hit Hard

Last night, Na Draki estimated the timing of the closest approach to Fiji is expected to be around 3pm today.
08 Apr 2020 11:06
Cyclone Harold: Kadavu, Ono-i-Lau May Be Hit Hard
NASA-NOAA's Suomi NPP satellite provided forecasters with a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Harold on April 7 between Vanuatu (left) and Fiji (right).

Kadavu and Ono-i-Lau are in the expected zone of destructive hurricane-force winds as Tropical Cyclone Harold makes its way into Fiji waters today. Na Draki Weather in its forecast said damaging gale and storm-force winds are possible over all of Viti Levu, the Mamanuca and Yasawa groups, Lomaiviti, central and southern Lau, and nearby smaller islands.

“It must be stressed that the current forecasts continue to indicate that the cyclone will not make landfall over any of the islands of Fiji, but this may change yet and you should stay alert to the risk of landfall increasing if further changes to the track of the cyclone are observed,” it said.

Last night, Na Draki estimated the timing of the closest approach to Fiji is expected to be around 3pm today.

The cyclone is expected to be about 180km south of Nadi and 70km west of Kadavu.

“At that time TC Harold is forecast to be a strong category 4 tropical cyclone with winds gusting to 220 kph or about 120 knots. Wind intensities for specific locations are contained within the warning. You should refer to that for the specific of your location,” Na Draki forecasted.

Rainfall will increase and will be heavy for long periods over the next 24 to 36 hours.

Widespread flooding is expected, especially over the larger islands.

NDMO Plans

Officials from the Ministry of Health and Medical Services and the Fiji Police Force will be stationed at evacuation centres around the country. This is to ensure that COVID-19 precautionary measures, such as two-metre physical distancing is practised.

National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) director Vasiti Soko said they are aware of the capacity of the evacuation centres and they will put people into other alternative evacuation centres.

“Even though the eye is not making direct landfall in Fiji, our threat now is the gusty winds and heavy rain,” she said.

“We are anticipating more rain, our soils are being very saturated which means we will have a lot of run-off, landslides as well.

“So we are asking the general public please adhere to advisories and do move to evacuation centres if you’re in a situation if you see the need to move, do not move when the situation is worse, and move as soon as possible.”

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: inoke.rabonu@fijisun.com.fj

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