AFTER leaving a trail of damage behind in Samoa, Severe Tropical Cyclone Evan is expected to strike Fiji tomorrow possibly as a category five cyclone.
It means Evan will bring destructive wind that can blow roofs off homes, flatten weak structures and uproot trees.
The cyclone was located about 1020 kilometres east-northeast of Labasa, 935 kilometres northeast of Lakeba or 1180 kilometres east-northeast of Suva at 2pm yesterday.
Fiji Meteorological Service director Alipate Waqaicelua said yesterday afternoon that the cyclone was intensifying and expected to attain category four status in the next 12 to 24 hours.
Yesterday, after it battered the Samoan capital Apia, it made a U-turn and returned on the same path as it headed towards Fiji.
"As it exists under very favourable oceanic and atmospheric conditions, there is a good probability of it attaining Category Five," he said.
"At this stage and on its projected track as well as intensity trend, TC Evan should move across the northern parts of Tonga on Saturday (today) and arrive into the Fiji waters later on Sunday as a CAT 4 or possibly CAT 5, severe tropical cyclone," he said.
A Category Four cyclone has a 10-minute mean wind of between 159 and 200 kilometres per hour and a maximum three second gust of between 225 and 279 kilometres per hour.
A Category Five cyclone has a 10 minute mean wind speed of more than 200 kilometres per hour and maximum three second gust of more than 280 kilometres per hour.
Mr Waqaicelua said damaging heavy easterly waves/swells would precede the cyclone, generated by the combined effect of TC Evan and an intense area of high pressure to the far south of Fiji.
"The resultant wave attack on our coastal communities, especially those facing the east and northeast, as well as those near the path of the cyclone, is expected to be severe.
"At this time, maximum sustained winds near the centre of the cyclone as it moves into Fiji are anticipated to be around or above 180 kilometres per hour.
"Associated momentary gusts will be a lot higher, at the most double these values.
"Rain will be frequent and heavy. Flooding including sea flooding of coastal areas is expected."
Mr Waqaicelua reiterated that all communities in Fiji should be prepared now, heed warnings and act responsibly to avoid unnecessary loss of lives and/or property.