25 Feb 2014

Fiji cyclone expected by weekend

2:22 pm on 25 February 2014

The Fiji meteorological service says there is a strong possibility the depression forming over the country will turn into a tropical cyclone by the weekend.

The director, Alipate Waqaicelua, says the system is expected to bring heavy winds and rain by this afternoon, which may persist until Sunday.

He says there is also a possibility of flash flooding.

He says the tropical depression, which is developing to the west of Fiji, is anticipated to move towards the island group by Friday, not on Thursday as initially forecast.

Mr Waqaicelua says it is likely the whole of Fiji will be affected, and is urging people to start preparing now.

"We are looking at gale force winds at least, and as this system develops over Fiji, the heavy swells are also expected to affect the group. So it's a combination of all these weather phenomena, weather factors that are in store for Fiji for the coming days. So the message is for the public to be prepared now."

Alipate Waqaicelua.