19 Dec 2016

Lingering storm to hit Fiji's Viti Levu directly

7:55 pm on 19 December 2016

A tropical depression that has been affecting Fiji for five days has intensified and is moving directly towards the main island, Viti Levu.

Satellite image of tropical depression known as TD04F near Fiji at 5:30pm on Monday 19-12-2016.

A satellite image of TD04F near Fiji at 5.30pm on Monday Photo: Fiji Meteorological Service

The storm had already caused widespread flooding as it moved slowly down the west coast.

It has now picked up pace and is moving in a south-easterly direction.

Fiji Met Service forecaster Misaeli Funaki said the tropical depression was close to a category one cyclone in intensity, and more rain and wind could be expected.

"It is going to pass over Viti Levu and it is going to happen very soon, and then it will eventually continue south-eastwards - and on the track that it is taking now, it will continue to bring with it a lot of rain, as we have experienced over the last couple of days, and also some very strong winds with it as it moves along," Mr Funaki said.

The rain might become more intense with winds gusting up to 85km/h, he said.

Flood warnings remained in place for much of the country.

Periods of heavy rain, leading to flooding, were possible for the northern and eastern half of Viti Levu from Ba to Rakiraki through Nausori to Sigatoka, Vanua Levu, Taveuni, Lau and the Lomaiviti Group.

Flood warnings remained in place for the following areas:

Flooding in Fiji due to heavy rain

Flooding in Fiji due to earlier heavy rain Photo: Fiji Village

Flooding in Qauia village following heavy rain.

Flooding in Qauia - one of the affected villages - earlier in the storm's cycle Photo: Nancy Naqelevuki/Fiji Village

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