31 Dec 2018

Tropical storm causes problems for Fiji and Solomon Islands

7:12 pm on 31 December 2018

A tropical storm making its way towards Fiji is expected to become a cyclone within the next 12 hours.

It will arrive in the northern half of the country early tomorrow, and is expected to hit the region with strong winds and heavy rain.

The acting director of the Fiji Meteorological Service, Viliame Vereivalu, said the country is already saturated from weeks of rain, so even a category one cyclone could have a big impact.

The current status of most of our catchments now are already saturated so more rain will be more damaging to flash floods and for low lying areas and small streams and as well as the major rivers. We just want people to take heed of the warning."

Viliame Vereivalu said forecasters are also keeping watch on another depression near Fiji which could develop into a cyclone by the end of the week.

Solomon Islands

The tropical depression has lingered over the Solomons for days, drenching much of the country with heavy rain.

Cameron Vudi, from the Solomon Islands Red Cross, said the agency has relief supplies positioned around the country ready.

He said he's yet to receive reports of any significant damage, but reports could take days to come from remote areas.

"So we have prepositioned items out in the islands, and also we have trained volunteers that are on standby and waiting to respond. As soon as we have received information, we will act upon that information," he said.

Tropical depression affecting Fiji

Tropical depression affecting Fiji Photo: Fiji Met Service