Updated: 1/8/2019 3:34:23 AM
Tropical Cyclone Mona has been downgraded to tropical depression at 6 am today. Tropical Cyclone Mona is weakening and moving further away from Fiji.
Updated: 1/7/2019 5:14:58 AM
Fiji has escaped major damage after Cyclone Mona swerved east around the two main islands. The storm is weakening but alerts are still in place for people in the eastern Lau group of islands. Mona is cutting an arch around the most populous islands of Viti and Vanua Levu and the smaller islands which dot the eastern part of the country. It's now a category one storm, the lowest on the scale, but has still caused floods and disrupted transport. About 2000 people took shelter in 40 evacuation centres over the weekend and thirty roads were closed, mostly due to floods and some landslips. People in the Lau group have been warned to expect gale-force and heavy rain as Mona tracks south, before arching south west over Fiji over the next 24 hours.
Updated: 1/6/2019 4:51:08 AM
Cyclone Mona continues to track towards Fiji moving East-Southeast at about 16 km/hr. Nadi Weather Office Senior Forecaster Amit Singh says based on projections, Tropical Cyclone is still expected to track toward Vanua Levu. Cyclone Mona has winds of about 85 km/hr with momentary gusts of about 120 km/hr close to the center. Singh says that gale winds associated with Tropical Cyclone Mona extends to about 150 km from the center. People can expect damaging gale force winds several hours before the cyclone center passes overhead or nearby.
A gale warning remains in force for Yasawa group, Cikobia, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Rabi, Qamea, Kioa, Laucala, Matagi, Lau and Lomaiviti groups and Kadavu. A Tropical Cyclone Alert remains in force for the rest of Fiji.
Updated: 1/5/2019 3:32:58 AM
Fiji is on alert for Tropical Cylone Mona which is moving across the Pacific. Tropical Cyclone Mona is gathering strength in the Pacific - now intensified to a category two storm - as it spins towards the Fiji island of Vanua Levu, MetService says. It's currently packing winds of 130 kilometres per hour, and was predicted to maintain its category two strength as it reaches northern and central areas of Fiji on Sunday, before turning towards southern Fiji on Monday. Across Fiji, some domestic flights and ferry sailings were cancelled, and people were being told to stay away from the sea, with very rough seas forecast this weekend.
Updated: 1/4/2019 2:55:56 AM
Tropical Cyclone "Mona" strengthened into a category 2 storm at 10:00 local time on January 4, 2019. The system is heading toward Fiji, forcing authorities to issue numerous warning. With rivers being at medium to high flows, soil already saturated and more rain predicted, the chances of flooding of low lying and flood prone areas is high. Sea flooding of low-lying coastal areas and damaging heavy swells are also anticipated. The Northern, and Eastern coastlines are at high risk of inundation by the combined effect of wind stress, heavy swells, storm surge and high tide.
Published Thursday, January 3, 2019
Fiji's Meteorological Service warned of intense rain and "damaging gale force winds" to outer areas of the island nation on Thursday, as the first tropical cyclone this year formed in the South Pacific.
Tropical Cyclone Mona was moving in southeast and expected to cross outlying islands in Fiji.
"There's a risk of flash flooding in low-lying and flood-prone areas. Therefore, all communities living in the flood-prone and landslide areas are requested to remain alert and take precautions," said the Acting Director of Fiji Meteorological Services Viliame Vereivalu.
The South Pacific is prone to cyclones in the early months of the year and in February 2016, Fiji was hit by the full force of Cyclone Winston, which left 44 people dead and destroyed tens of thousands of homes.
Vereivalu confirmed Tropical Cyclone Mona has formed to the North of Rotuma, which is a Fijian dependency, consisting of Rotuma Island and nearby islets. The island group is home to a large and unique indigenous ethnic group which constitutes a recognizable minority within the population of Fiji, known as Rotumans.
The system may bring damaging gale force winds over Rotuma in the next 12 to 18 hours.
Damaging gale force winds is expected in the next 24 to 48 hours for the islands such as Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands.