26 Dec 2019

Fiji on tropical cyclone alert as bad weather moves closer

12:36 pm on 26 December 2019

People are urged to remain on high alert as a tropical depression which continues to move closer to Fiji is expected to gradually intensify into a Tropical Cyclone this evening.

The Tropical Depression is moving at 10 kilometres per hour, according to the Fiji Meteorology Service.

The Director of Meteorology, Misaeli Funaki told Fiji Village said this system will move southwards and come close to Fiji and when it forms into a cyclone, it will be named Cyclone Sarai.

He said while the majority of the models are projecting for the system to move just to the west of Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups, some other models are showing that the Cyclone could come over Viti Levu later on Friday.

Misaeli Funaki during media briefing at Nadi Weather Office.

Misaeli Funaki during media briefing at Nadi Weather Office. Photo: Supplied

The Met Service said rain and thunderstorms will start developing over northern, central and eastern parts of the country from today.

A heavy rain warning remains in force for Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Northern Lau group, and the Yasawa group.

According to the Weather Office, close to its centre, the Tropical Depression is expected to have average winds up to 45 kilometres per hour with momentary gusts of up to 65 kilometres per hour.