Jan 23, 2020 Last Updated 8:02 PM, Jan 21, 2020

Vanuatu on watch for floods

Vanuatu’s northern and central regions have been warned to expect heavy rain and flash flooding as a severe weather system closes in from the north-west.

Isolated heavy rainfall with thunder and winds of up to 46 kilometres per hour can be expected over northern and central Vanuatu.

“People in these areas are advised to take precautions as flash flooding may take place near rivers and in low-lying areas,” an advisory from the Vanuatu Meteorology Service said.

The system is about 600km from the capital, Vila, but just north of Santo.

Meanwhile, the Fiji Meteorological Service has advised that Tropical Disturbance 04F (1000HPA) has been located around 13.6 South 166.6 East – about 1200km northwest of Nadi – around noon today (Tuesday).

The system has been described as slow-moving and chances of it developing into a cyclone over the next 24-48 hours are moderate.

But Fiji has been warned to expect heavy rain from tomorrow.

 

All eyes on weather system

A significant weather system has developed north-west of Vanuatu and is moving south-east towards New Caledonia and Fiji.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre at Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, placed the system near 12.05 South 164.0 East or 716 kilometres north-west of Port Vila, Vanuatu, early today.

Current models show the system has low to moderate chances of developing into a cyclone over the next 24-48 hours.

Neither Vanuatu nor Fiji have issued alerts at this stage but meteorological services in both countries continue to monitor the system which is moving at 28 kilometres per hour.

On its current track and at this speed, the system should begin to impact Vanuatu with heavy rain around noon today (Tuesday).

 

In Fiji, 361 evacuees are now taking shelter at evacuation centers around the country as Tropical Cyclone Sarai continues to move through the group.

15 evacuation centres country-wide have now been activated and a storm warning is now in force for Vatulele and Kadavu Island.

At 7am this morning Fiji time, the Category 2 cyclone was about 180km south-southwest of Nadi or about 150km west of Kadavu. TC Sarai is moving southeastward at approximately 14 km/hr.

On this projected track, it is expect pass very close to Kadavu later today then moving onto the Lau group tomorrow.

People living in Kadavu, Vatulele and Matuku have been warned to expect destructive storm force winds with average speeds of 100km/hr with momentary gusts of 140km/hr.  Heavy rain and squally thunderstorms, plud sea flooding should be expected during high tide.

National Disaster Management Office Director, Vasiti Soko says the District Officers and first responders are assisting people living in low lying areas to evacuate to high grounds.

In the western part of Viti Levu, people are advised to expect northwesterly winds with average speeds of 80km/hr with momentary gusts of 100km/hr. Winds and rain is expected to gradually ease from later today as TC Sarai moves further away from the Western Division. A flash flood warning remain in force for low lying areas, small streams and areas adjacent to major rivers in the Western Division and Northern Division.

For the Eastern Part of Viti Levu and Lomaiviti group, expect strong northeasterly winds this morning, which will shift to a southwesterly direction later today as TC Sarai moves closer to Kadavu. Rain will increase and a flash flood warning remains in force for low lying areas, small streams and areas adjacent to major rivers in the Central Division.

Meanwhile Fiji’s health ministry has temporarily suspended the national measles campaign due to the adverse weather effects of TC Sarai. Members of the public will be informed when the campaign will recommence.

By Netani Rika

ALL eyes are on a trough of low pressure between Vanuatu and Fiji as the Easter long weekend approaches.

Most of Northern Fiji  - including Vanua Levu, Taveuni and associated smaller islands along with parts of Lau – were issued heavy rain warnings on Monday.

Today the warning has been extended to the northern parts of the Yasawa Group and the main island, Viti Levu.

Fiji’s National Weather Forecasting Centre predicts rain, occasional thunderstorms and persistent overnight rainfall over the next 24-48 hours with flash flooding in low-lying and coastal areas.

The rain has been caused by a weak low pressure system between Nadi and Vila.

Commercial weather station, Na Draki, has warned that the low pressure system will slowly strengthen and likely form a Tropical Depression some time on Friday or Saturday.

“Whether or not it does strengthen, it is evident that rain will continue heavy at times through to Monday with widespread flooding of low lying areas,” Na Draki reported.

“There is likely to be some significant river flooding about the main islands later in the weekend.”

Members of the public have been advised to make preparations ahead of the weekend when most shops will be closed for extended periods.

They have also been warned to listen to the radio for regular updates.

Special weather bulletin number twelve for fiji on heavy rain issued from the national weather forecasting centre, nadi at 10:30am on wednesday 28th march 2018.

Heavy rain warning remains in force for vanua levu, taveuni and nearby smaller islands, northern lau group, northern viti levu, yasawa and mamanuca group.

Heavy rain alert remains in force for the rest of fiji.

Situation:

A trough of low pressure with associated cloud and rain remain slow moving over the group.

For vanua levu, taveuni and nearby smaller islands, northern lau group, northern viti levu, yasawa and mamanuca group:

Occasional rain. Rain expected to become frequent and heavy with squally thunderstorms from afternoon.

Localised heavy falls may lead to flash flooding of low lying areas.

For the rest of fiji:

Occasional showers, possibly heavy at times and isolated thunderstorms. Showers possibly increasing to rain and becoming frequent from later today.

Isolated heavy falls expected.

Localised heavy falls may lead to flash flooding of low lying areas.

The next special weather bulletin will be issued issued around 01.30 pm or earlier.

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