24 Mar 2011

Tropical cyclone alert issued for Fiji groups

10:21 am on 24 March 2011

A tropical cyclone alert is now in force for Fiji's Lau and Lomaiviti groups.

A strong wind warning is also in force for the Lau group, Lomaiviti Group and nearby smaller islands.

A tropical depression was located 240 kilometers south of Lakeba or about 360 kilometers east south east of Suva early this morning.

The depression is moving west-southwest at about 22 kilometres an hour, and on this track it may cause gale forces winds over Lau, Lomaiviti and the nearby small islanders in the next 24 to 30 hours.

The lead forecaster at the Fiji Met Service, David Grant, says the depression is intensifying.

"There is every concern that it could develop into a cyclone if its going to. It's probably going to be tonight I would imagine. The environment is fairly favourable for development, so it's a very high potential for a for a tropical cyclone at least in the next 24 hours."

The lead forecaster at the Fiji Met Service, David Grant.