Keni ‘no longer a threat’

SEVERE Tropical Cyclone Keni moved out of Fiji waters early yesterday morning.

According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, Keni maintained its Category 3 intensity while moving out of the country where it was located to the far South of Tonga at 2pm.

“It no longer poses a threat to Fiji. It is expected to weaken to extra-tropical low in the next 24 hours or so,” a Government statement read.

“At about 3pm (on Tuesday), the eye was over the southwestern part of Kadavu thus making a landfall.

“The Vunisea Meteorological Station on Kadavu recorded maximum average wind speed of 158 kilometres per hour and maximum gusts of 215km per hour at 4.10pm and barometric pressure falling to 960 hecto Pascal at 3.40pm (on Tuesday).

“The Ono-i-Lau Automated Weather Station recorded the maximum average wind of 132km per hour and maximum gusts of 164km per hour with barometric pressure falling to 986 hecto Pascal at 11.20pm Tuesday.

“This confirms that these communities (Kadavu and Ono-i-Lau) had felt TC Keni’s hurricane force winds.”

The weather office said following Severe TC Keni, a ridge of high pressure was extending from the south-west over the country which would result in fine weather over most parts of the group.

“With this change, a cool southerly wind flow is also expected. Fine weather conditions to prevail over most places this weekend.

“However, occasional showers remain possible with isolated heavy falls. This may cause localised flash flooding of low-lying areas.

“The river levels are high and receding slowly and may take a few days to normalise. However, any heavy rain can cause the rivers to rise quickly again, thus the risk of flooding of low-lying areas still remains high.”