Tropical Cyclone Harold made landfall in Fiji at approximately 04:00 (local time) on Wednesday, April 8. According to local media, there have been reports of injuries, mass flooding,and infrastructural damage to homes and utility buildings in some areas due to the storm. In addition, several roads have been closed due to flooding and fallen trees. Authorities added that people have been evacuated from low lying areas affected by the flooding, while security forces have been deployed to respond to calls for assistance from the public. The areas of Kadavu and Southern Lau Islands are expected to experience the full impact of the storm.
As of Wednesday morning, the Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) downgraded Cyclone Harold to a Category 4 tropical storm and is located at approximately 18.9°S 177.9°E (map here). Harold is moving southeast at 39 kph (24 mph) and has maximum sustained winds of 176 kph (109 mph). Tropical cyclone alerts have been issued for the southern parts of Viti Levu, Beqa, Vatulele, Kadavu, Matuku, Vatoa, and Ono-I-Lau. A storm warning remains in place for the rest of Viti Levu, Lomaiviti, Moala, Totoya, Vanuavatu, as well as the rest of the Southern Lau island group. Additionally, flash flood warnings are in place for low lying areas and small streams, such as in the Rakiraki Catchment.
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.
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.