The National Disaster Management Office and the Fiji Meteorological Services are closely monitoring a Tropical Depression that entered Fiji’s Regional Specialised Meteorological Center – Nadi Area of Responsibility this morning.
As advised by Met Services, TD05F is expected to develop into a Category 1 tropical cyclone late this afternoon or evening.
It is anticipated to intensify further into a Category 2 system in the next 24 to 36 hours.
Acting Meteorology Director Terry Atalifo has advised that TD05F is likely to track over open waters and remain to the south-southwest of Fiji, about 700 kilometres south-southwest of Nadi around 6 am on Friday.
Atalifo says as it does, the associated trough of low pressure is expected to approach the group from the West and is likely to lie close to Fiji.
He also says, a trough of low pressure has been analyzed over the northern parts of Fiji and is gradually moving toward the country.
These systems he adds will bring heavy rain and thunderstorms over parts of the Fiji group from tomorrow onwards.
A heavy rain alert has been issued for Yasawa and Mamanuca groups, Western and Northern Viti Levu [Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki, Interior Ba and Interior Ra], Kadavu, Beqa and Vatulele, and Bua Province and Eastern Macuata Province.
A Heavy Rain Alert has been issued for these areas and showers are expected to increase and become more frequent over these areas from tomorrow afternoon.
The Fiji Met Services is also advising the general public to be on alert as the highest tide of the year or the “King Tide” is anticipated this Sunday.
Atalifo says coupled with the effects of wind-driven waves expected from TD05F, particularly from the 20th to the 24th, there is a “high risk” of coastal flooding over coastal areas of Yasawa and Mamanuca groups, western Viti Levu to Coral Coast, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Moala Group, Central and Southern Lau Group.
There is a low to moderate risk of coastal flooding for the rest of Fiji’s coastal areas.
Given the forecast and alerts issued by Met Services, Fiji NDMO Director Vasiti Soko confirms the National and Divisional Emergency Operations Centers have been activated from today as they continue to work closely in monitoring the current weather situation.
Soko is urging the general public to prepare their households and communities accordingly.
She adds while this system may pose some direct threats yet to Fiji, members of the public are strongly urged to adhere to advisories issued by authorities and prepare early.
Soko says with coastal inundation also expected from Friday, they are urging Fijians living along coastal communities to be vigilant and remain on high alert.
Mariners are also strongly advised to heed the advisories issued by authorities as sea conditions could be dangerous for small boats due to large waves and rough seas.
Soko is also advising the general public that with already heavily saturated soil as a result of continuous heavy rain in the past week, the risk of landslides occurring remains.