The Fiji National Disaster Management Office reports one casualty in Kadavu as Tropical Cyclone Sarai lashes parts of the island group with winds of upto 150 km/hr.
The Office said one person is missing in Vunidawa, Naitasiri, and another person is in intensive care at Suva hospital, after sustaining injury from a fallen tree.
55 evacuation centres are now in operation across Fiji with 2,121 evacuees.
BRIEF UPDATE ON #TCSarai— Fiji National Disaster Management Office (@FijiNDMO) December 28, 2019
1⃣ Casualty in Kadavu
1⃣ Missing in Vunidawa, Naitasiri
1⃣ in ICU at #CWM Hospital in Suva after sustaining injury from a fallen tree at Cunningham, Suva.
5⃣5⃣ evacuation centres activated with 2⃣1⃣2⃣1⃣ evacuees. pic.twitter.com/TpBpoAUYts
Cyclone Sarai maintaining its strength
The Fiji Meteorological Office said Tropical Cyclone Sarai is maintaining its strength and speed as it continues to batter Fiji with storm force winds gusting up to 150 km and hour and torrential rain.
The Category two storm is moving East Southeast at 13km/hr and was located 100 km South of Kadavu which is 200km South of Suva at 9pm today.
Cyclone Sarai continues its slow movement around Fiji and communities in the western and northern divisions are experiencing strong gusts and heavy rain. Our teams are on standby to support with preparedness and response at the community level where needed.— Fiji Red Cross Society (@FijiRedCross) December 27, 2019
Stay safe everyone! pic.twitter.com/srgQi7mv52
The Fiji National Disaster Management Office said it also assisted people living in low lying areas as strong storm surges have entered some villages along the coastal areas in the western division.
Villagers of Narikoso, Ono, Kadavu moved to their evacuation centre yesterday afternoon as #TCSarai caused damage to homes, trees & crops. Everyone is reported safe.— GIZ Pacific (@GIZPasifika) December 27, 2019
GIZ is working with the @FijianGovt to build new homes to relocate some families here to higher ground in 2020. pic.twitter.com/iqUmH3sl1s
Fiji Metservice forecaster Sakeasi Rabitu said on its current track Sarai will pass adjacent to the main island Viti Levu and then across Fiji's southern islands, before heading towards Tonga's Ha'apai Group.
"It is still continuing south-east with it, it is still expected to bring lots of gale force winds and heavy rain."
"It is going to continue throughout the day continuing moving south of Kadavau, moving east. No landfall has been made yet but we have been fully experiencing the full brunt of the winds as well," Sakeasi Rabitu said.
Tonga's Fua'amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre has been activated as Tropical Cyclone Sarai is expected to cross into Tonga waters this weekend.
The Cyclone Warning Centre will continue to provide Tropical Cyclone Advisories, Alerts and Warnings for Tonga on the developments of Tropical Cyclone Sarai every six hours, advisories will be updated more often prior to its track closing into Tonga waters.
TC Sarai, Cat.2 was located about 70km southwest of Kadavu or about 160km southwest of Suva at 1pm today.— Metservice Fiji (@FJMETservice) December 28, 2019
Close to its centre the cyclone is expected to have average winds of up to 110km/hr with momentary gusts to 150km/hr. TC Sarai is moving southeast at 16km/hr. pic.twitter.com/yLVXDEIY9t