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06 Apr 2020 | 06:48 AM UTC

Fiji: Tropical Cyclone Harold to hit April 7

Tropical Cyclone Harold to hit April 7; heavy rain, rough seas, landslides, flooding, storm surge, and lingering disruptions expected

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FJI

Event

Tropical Cyclone Harold is expected to hit Fiji on Tuesday, April 7. Associated rain bands will hit Viti Levu on Tuesday, while the center of the storm is expected to pass close to the main island on Wednesday, April 8. The Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) has issued a heavy rain alert for the western half of Viti Levu, and has also issued tropical cyclone alerts for Viti Levu, Kadavu, Lomaiviti, and the Southern Lau island group.

Earlier on Friday, April 3, at least five people drowned, while 25 people remain missing after a ferry capsized off near the Solomon Islands as a result of heavy seas caused by the approaching Cyclone Harold.

Associated flooding, landslides, and transportation and business disruptions are anticipated, as well as disruptions to power and communication services, in the coming hours and days.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.