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16 Jan 2020 | 05:26 AM UTC

Fiji: Weather warnings issued for Tropical Depression 04F January 16

Weather officials forecast Tropical Depression 04F to impact Fiji between January 16-18; strong wind, heavy rain, storm surge, and associated disruptions expected

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Event

The Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) issued a Tropical Cyclone alert on Wednesday, January 15, ahead of the passage of Tropical Depression 04F that is forecast to impact the archipelago with heavy rain, strong wind, flash floods, and rising sea levels from the evening (local time) of Thursday, January 16, through Saturday, January 18. On Rotuma Island, the FMS also raised the alert to a Tropical Cyclone warning.

As of 12:00 on Thursday, 04F is located at approximately 12.9°S 173.1°E (map here) and moving east at a speed of 20 kph (12 mph) with maximum winds near its center between 50-60 kph (31-37 mph). The Tropical Depression is likely to intensify into a Tropical Cyclone by Friday, January 17, before making landfall on Vanua Levu.

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, avoid areas directly affected by flooding, confirm road conditions before setting out, anticipate transportation and business disruptions, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Avoid walking or driving through floodwaters; 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult.