Weather warning

Figure 2: Satellite image at 3pm on 12 November 2018.

THE revelation that a tropical disturbance TD02F has developed near the Solomon Islands and is expected to bring strong and gusty winds over Fiji from tomorrow will no doubt attract attention. A statement issued by the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) yesterday confirmed this.

FMS director Ravind Kumar said Fiji could expect north-easterly winds with speeds of 40 to 50 km/hr, gusting to 60km/hr from tomorrow.

The approaching trough with embedded disturbance, he said, has the potential to produce total rainfall of more than 100mm in 24 hours.

Therefore, he warned, the risk of flash flooding and flooding of low lying areas will be elevated from tomorrow night until Thursday.

All communities living in flood prone and landslide areas have been requested to remain alert as heavy rain is expected in the coming days.

We have all been urged keep away from flooded drains. Motorists have been urged to take extreme care when driving in adverse weather.

The weather, he said, would gradually clear from the west later on Thursday and into Friday.

A strong wind warning remained in force for all Fiji waters and mariners could expect seas which would be very rough through passages with poor visibility.

A heavy rain alert is now in force for the Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups, eastern half of Viti Levu, western Vanua Levu, Lau and Lomaiviti Groups. The skies opened up on Sunday night in the Capital City.

It seemed as if rain fell in bucket-loads. It caused flash flooding in Vatuwaqa for instance.

Floodwaters swept into homes. By midnight, families could be seen carrying bedding and other household items around as they tried to protect them from the rising water level.

Heavy rain caused flash-flooding in other parts of the city, and drains were overflowing with water and debris. If that was a sign of things to expect, then the warning by Mr Kumar must be heeded.

We should be mindful of safety concerns, and be aware of weather reports. It’s in our best interest. It is important that among the many other concerns and issues we face daily, we should embrace the need to be aware of safety.

We have been warned.

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