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Weather caution

Shayal Devi
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

THE Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) is monitoring three systems moving towards the Fiji Group, with one having a high chance of developing into a Category 1 cyclone.

During a media briefing yesterday, FMS director Ravind Kumar said they were monitoring three systems concurrently — one located near Tahiti and yet to be named, Tropical Depression 08F (TD08F) and Tropical Disturbance 07F (TD07F).

TD07F which is moving towards the Fiji Group, has a high chance of developing into a Category 1 cyclone in the next 72 hours.

"TD08F continues to move south and it has intensified into a tropical depression but it poses no direct threat, however, associated trough is still going to affect northern parts of Fiji," he said.

"TD07F is now to the north-west of Fiji, near Vanuatu and it is expected to move towards Fiji.

"We further expect TD07F to continue intensifying into a depression in 24 to 48 hours and probably become a Category 1 cyclone in the next 72 hours.

"Therefore, the chance of (it) developing into a tropical cyclone in the next 72 hours is high."

TD07F is expected to bring with it heavy rain and strong wind.

"We have a number of warnings in place, including a strong wind warning for most parts of Fiji, a heavy rain warning is also in force and the flood alert remains in force.

"With the system coming closer to Fiji, we expect the winds to gradually increase, where we will see the northerly wind about 40 to 55 kilometres per hour, gusting to 65km/hr."

Mr Kumar said the path TD07F was expected to take was uncertain.

"The likely path now is very uncertain. The environmental changes in between the two places can change and that might push it down. We will still see how this will evolve. At the moment, by the time it will come, we will alert whole of Fiji, so we will see how this goes."

He said members of the public were advised to remain prepared.

"There is a high chance of flooding and people need to know where to go if there is an emergency so whenever alerts and warnings are provided, communities need to take the warnings seriously."

Warnings in place:

* A heavy rain warning remains in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lau and the Yasawa Group;

* A heavy rain alert remains in force for the rest of Fiji;

* A flood alert remains in force for all low-lying areas and small streams for Vanua Levu and Taveuni;

* A strong wind warning remains in force for Vanua Levu and the Lau Waters, the Vatu-i-ra passage and is now in force for the Koro Sea and the Kadavu passage; and

* A strong wind warning remains in force for land and waters of Rotuma.

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