Let’s listen to advice

Fred Wesley

Fred Wesley

THE revelation that the deadly weather experienced in the Western Division will worsen and lives will be at risk as Tropical Depression 13F intensifies and moves closer to Fiji is a concern.

This comes with the forecasted high chances of river and sea flooding of low-lying coastal areas as the system intensifies and moves closer to Fiji.

Fiji Meteorological Service director Ravindra Kumar said TD13F was anticipated to develop into a Category 1 cyclone in the next 12 to 18 hours.

The environmental condition, he said, was favourable for further intensification and TD13F was likely to pass just southwest of Fiji tomorrow or in the early hours of Wednesday.

The high level of rainfall experienced across the country, he said, in addition to unusually high tides and tidal surges caused by TD13F as it moves closer, placed coastal areas in the west and south of the country at a very high risk of floods.

At 3pm yesterday afternoon, TD13F was located about 770km west of Nadi or 790km west of Yasawa-i-Rara.

The outer active rainbands from TD13F have started to affect the western parts of the country.

As the system moves closer to Fiji, rain will become heavy and frequent from today.

Strong winds are also expected from today and would be increasing to damaging gale force winds later tonight.

This is no time to be complacent.

The weather office is forecasting bad weather.

The onus is on us as individuals to be proactive.

We must be vigilant. We must embrace the advice given and take appropriate action to stay safe.

The challenge is with the powers that be to be prepared as well.

The processes that must kick in during natural disasters should be ready to do so as the weather turns nasty.

Looters were out at the height of Josie’s sweep through parts of the West. People have died.

While we hope there is no repetition this time around, we can’t be too sure though.

We can only hope that good sense will prevail, and that the powers that be do not have to put together an action plan to police this issue.

It is tough when lives are at stake.

Let’s be vigilant, listen to weather bulletins, read about tips and advice from experts, and stay safe. We have been warned.