4 Jan 2019

Fiji's Rotuma spared by unpredictable Cyclone Mona

11:34 am on 4 January 2019

The Fiji Meteorological Service says the northern island of Rotuma was fortunate enough to have Cyclone Mona pass to its east rather than over the island.

The track of the category one storm was initially projected to head for the island which is home to around 2,000 people.

A satellite view of Rotuma

A satellite view of Rotuma Photo: Rotuma.net

However Acting Director Viliame Vereivalu said the storm ended up veering slightly away.

"It went to the right, on the east of Rotuma so it already passed Rotuma and already we cancelled the gale warning for Rotuma by this morning," he said.

There have been no reports of damage or injury on Rotuma.

Mona has slightly gained strength as it has moved south towards the larger islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

Initially the forecast probability of Mona intensifying into a category two storm decreased overnight but the latest projections have it gaining strength again.

Mr Vereivalu said that is the nature of cyclones.

"Nothing is confirmed yet. There is always uncertainty in the forecast track, intensity and the timing."

Mr Vereivalu said Mona was currently packing winds of up to 120km/hr and was forecast to move south-southwest and close to the island Vanua Levu tomorrow morning.