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Vanua Balavu hit by 100km/hr winds

February 19, 2016 9:52 pm

Severe Tropical Cyclone Winston Category 5 is currently over the Lau Group.

The Island of Vanua Balavu has already reported winds of over 100km/hr.

Winds of more than 166km/ph have been reported in Vanua Balavu as TC Winston lies over the Lau Group as of 7am today.

The Hurricane warning with winds of up to 200km/ph – remains in force for Vanua Balavu, Yacata, Mago, Tuvuca, Nayavu Koro, Gau, Vanua Vatu, Taveuni, Laucala, Qamea, Ovalau, Wakaya, Southern half of Vanua Levu.

The strong wind warning remains in force for Lakeba, Oneata, Moce, Komo, Namuka, Ogea, Moala, the rest of Vanua Levu, nearby smaller Islands, Viti Levu, Yasawa and Mamanuca groups.

For the rest of Fiji, gale warning remains in force. Associated with Winston, a damaging heavy swell warning remains in force for low lying areas and heavy rain warning in force for Fiji.

Tropical Cyclone Winston has the potential to pour huge amount of rain in very short time and flooding is possible in vulnerable, low lying areas with major river systems also at risk of overflowing their banks.

TC Winston was located about 130km North-Northwest of Lakeba or about 285km East-Northeast of Suva at 7am today. It’s moving West at about 25km/hr.

Close to its centre TC Winston has winds averaging 220km/hr and momentary gusts of 315km/hr.

On this track it’s expected to be about 140km Northwest of Suva at about 7am tomorrow.

Very destructive winds may begin several hours before the cyclone centre passes overhead or nearby.

For the Fiji Group, expect damaging gale force winds, periods of heavy rain and squally thunderstorms.

Damaging heavy swells.

Flooding including sea flooding of low lying areas.