7 Jan 2019

Fiji largely escapes as Cyclone Mona heads off

4:46 pm on 7 January 2019

Fiji has escaped major damage after Cyclone Mona swerved east around the two main islands.

Cyclone Mona as of 0149 UTC Monday 7 January.

Cyclone Mona as of 0149 UTC Monday 7 January. Photo: Nadi Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre

The storm is weakening but alerts are still in place for people in the eastern Lau group of islands.

Mona is cutting an arch around the most populous islands of Viti and Vanua Levu and the smaller islands which dot the eastern part of the country.

It's now a category one storm, the lowest on the scale, but has still caused floods and disrupted transport.

About 2000 people took shelter in 40 evacuation centres over the weekend and thirty roads were closed, mostly due to floods and some landslips.

People in the Lau group have been warned to expect gale-force and heavy rain as Mona tracks south, before arching south west over Fiji over the next 24 hours.