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08 Apr 2020 | 11:31 PM UTC

Fiji: Damage assessments begin following passing of Tropical Cyclone Harold April 9 /update 2

Damage and disruption reported across Fiji following passing Tropical Cyclone Harold; flooding and communication disruptions ongoing



The Fijian government is conducting damage assessments as of Thursday, April 9, following the passage of Tropical Cyclone Harold to the south of the country on Wednesday, April 8. Authorities have asked the public to remain indoors as security force clear debris and cordon off areas affected by flooding. The worst affected area is Kadavu where structural damage has been reported, however, flooding as a result of heavy rainfall was also reported in Ba, Lautoka, Suva, and Tavua. Damages have also been reported on the Lomaiviti and Lau island groups. At least 2000 people sought safety in emergency shelters and evacuation operations were undertaken in Western Division. Disruptions to communications were reported in the country's outer islands such as Kadavu. Authorities have also advised the public to boil drinking water in order to combat the spread of infectious diseases. Rains and flooding are expected to continue as Harold moves away from the country. As of Thursday, Tropical Cyclone Harold has strengthened to a category five cyclone as it moves towards the Tonga island group and is currently capable of sustaining maximum winds of 289km/h (179mph).


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.