Media release No.17: TC Mona downgraded to a category 1 System (4pm, Saturday, 05 January 2019)

Report
from Government of Fiji
Published on 05 Jan 2019 View Original

Tropical Cyclone Mona has weakened and downgraded to a category 1 system at 11am today. The cyclone is currently moving eastwards and should track southeast towards Fiji in the next 9 to 12 hours.

Tropical cyclone Mona centre was located near 13.1 degrees’ south latitude and 176.2 degrees’ east longitude or about 380km north-northwest of Yasawa-i-Rara or about 460km northwest of Labasa at 1pm today. TC Mona is moving east-northeast at about 10km/hr.

On the forecast track, the centre is expected to be located about 330km north of Yasawa-i-Rara or about 390km northwest of Labasa at 1am tomorrow morning and about 190km north of Yasawai-Rara or about 180km northwest of Labasa at 1pm tomorrow. Damaging winds are likely to begin several hours before the cyclone centre passes overhead or nearby.

For Yasawa and Mamanuca group: expect fresh to strong southeast winds with speeds of 45 to 70km/hr and gusts up to 70km/hr. Winds may further increase to damaging gale force with average speed up to 65 km/hr and momentary gusts to 90km/hr from tomorrow mid-morning. Expect periods of rain, heavy at times and few squally thunderstorms.

For the rest Vanua Levu and nearby smaller islands: expect fresh to strong southeast winds with speeds of 45 to 55km/hr and gusts up to 70km/hr. Winds may further increase to damaging gale force with average speed up to 65 km/hr and momentary gusts to 90km/hr from tomorrow afternoon.

For the rest of Fiji: expect fresh to strong southeast winds with speeds of 45 to 55km/hr and gusts up to 65km/hr. Winds may further increase to damaging gale force with average speed up to 65 km/hr and momentary gusts to 90km/hr from tomorrow evening into Monday morning. Expect periods of rain, heavy at times and few thunderstorms.

Over Yasawa Waters and Northern Vanua Levu Waters, expect northeast to southeast winds 25 to 30 knots, gusting to 45 knots with rough to very rough seas and moderate to heavy southerly swells. Poor visibility in areas of rain and thunderstorms. Winds further increasing to 35 to 40 knots with high seas from tomorrow morning. For the rest of Fiji Waters, winds may further increase to 35 to 40 knots with high seas from tomorrow evening.

The following alerts and warnings are currently in force:

A “Gale Warning” remains in force for Yasawa and Mamanuca group and western half of Vanua Levu;

A “Tropical Cyclone Alert” remains in force for the rest of Fiji;

A “Strong Wind Warning” remains in force for all land areas and waters of Fiji;

A “Heavy Rain Warning” remains in force for the whole of Fiji Group;

A “Flood Warning” remains in force for; all low lying areas, small streams and areas adjacent to major rivers of Fiji, low lying areas and areas adjacent to Sabata Station and downstream of Navua Town, low lying areas adjacent to Navua Bridge Station and downstream of Navua River, low lying areas and small streams adjacent to and downstream of Naqali Station; and

A “Flood Alert” a flood alert remains in force for low lying areas and areas adjacent to Labasa Civic Station and downstream of Labasa Town.

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 is also anticipated. The Northern, and Eastern coastlines are at high risk of inundation by combined effect of wind stress, heavy swells, storm surge and high tide.

All communities living in low coastal, flood prone and low lying areas are reminded to remain alert and take all necessary precautions, similarly for those living in landslide prone areas.
Members of the public are advised to remain updated with the latest weather information and take alerts and warnings seriously.

For more details and the latest on weather, please contact the National Weather Forecasting Centre on 6736006, 9905376 or visit the Fiji Meteorological Service’s website, www.met.gov.fj. You can also visit the Fiji Meteorological Service official Facebook page for latest updates.

Alerts and warnings can be found at:

Special Weather Bulletin (Tropical Cyclone Alert): http://www.met.gov.fj/index.php?page=warn1#20020.txt
Flood alert/warning: http://www.met.gov.fj/index.php?page=warn1#20016.txt\
Heavy rain alert/warning: http://www.met.gov.fj/index.php?page=warn1#20014.txt