28 Dec 2019

Casualty reported in Fiji as Sarai lashes group

10:43 pm on 28 December 2019
Visible infra-red satellite imagery of Cyclone Sarai as it churns down the west coast of Fiji.

Visible infra-red satellite imagery of Cyclone Sarai as it churns down the west coast of Fiji. Photo: Fiji Metservice

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.

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.

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.


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.