Cyclone Alert

"It will possibly intensify into a tropical cyclone later on (Monday) today or early Tuesday (tomorrow).
13 Nov 2023 11:04
Cyclone Alert
Tropical cyclone forecast track map as at 8:04pm on November 12, 2023, from the RSMC tropical cyclone warning centre in Nadi .

Prepare now and take all cyclone related warnings seriously.

That’s the message from acting director for the Fiji Meteorological Services, Bipen Prakash, while confirming that a tropical cyclone alert was in place for Fiji.

Mr Prakash said as of last night Tropical Depression 02F was closer to the Solomon Islands, and was expected to drift towards Fiji later on today.

“It will possibly intensify into a tropical cyclone later on (Monday) today or early Tuesday (tomorrow).

“It is expected to come over Fiji,” Mr Prakash said.

As of 9pm last night, a storm alert was in force for the Yasawa Group, Mamanuca Group, Western, and Northern Viti Levu.

This is expected to be extended to the rest of the country later.

Speaking from Yasawa-i-Rara last night, head man Naele Sonitoqitoqi said they had started experiencing strong winds and heavy rain lately.

“We are preparing ourselves as we await a tropical depression,” he said.


Projected path

Fiji Met acting director Prakash said there was a bit of uncertainty in the tropical depression’s projected path.

“The system has not developed into a tropical cyclone yet.

“Usually during the development stage of a tropical cyclone there is a lot of uncertainty, once the system develops into a tropical cyclone we have much clearer view on its projected path.”

For now, Mr Prakash said the whole of Fiji needs to know that a tropical cyclone was expected.

“The whole of Fiji needs to be prepared for it,” he said.

“In terms of who may get infected there is a bit of uncertainty at this stage.

“The current path is show that it is coming over Viti Levu but it can go over Vanua Levu or it can come to the west of Viti Levu.”


Flood warning in place

He also warned of a lot of rainfall that could lead to flooding.

“There is a trough of low pressure drifting from the north over the country associated with heavy rain falls for northern and the eastern divisions.”

“There is heavy rain fall for the central division. We expecting heavy rainfalls and expected to spread over the country. The tropical cyclone coming on Tuesday or early Wednesday usually around the vicinity of tropical cyclone we expect a lot of rainfall as well which can lead to localized flooding’s, flash flooding or widespread flooding.”


Category 2 cyclone

“At this stage of prediction, we are expecting the system to be a category 2 at its peak intensity. However, it is early days it can intensify further.”

He urges the community to be vigilant and take this opportunity to prepare themselves.

“There is still a window of opportunity because the system is not expected to have an impact earlier than part of Tuesday. People should take heed of warnings and we should need to be very mindful to be keeping a press of the weather forecast continuously.

“Please refer to the advice by the Disaster management office. In terms of impact of what we expect Gale to storm force winds.”

He said strong winds could break tree branches, blow unsecured and loose materials, break power lines, damage temporary and weak structures, raise the risk of sea travel for all types of sea crafts, and increase the risk for hazardous breaking waves and coastal inundation of debris along low lying coastal areas especially during high tides.


Mariners warned

Mr Prakash also advised mariners to avoid going out to sea.

“We are expecting very rough seas over the coming days especially for this week,” he said.

“As for the mariners, small crafts operators, and those especially for those who are inexperienced to possibly avoiding going into seas. It is quite rough, and it expected to become more.”



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