Torrential rain pours across Fiji

A tropical storm could be developing across the island nation.

by
    Torrential rain often causes flooding and landslides in Fiji, but usually between November and April [EPA]
    Torrential rain often causes flooding and landslides in Fiji, but usually between November and April [EPA]

    Torrential rain has poured across Fiji over the past few days and the amounts of rain have been phenomenal.

    A staggering 451mm of rain was reported on the island of Vanua Balavu in just two days, but this paled into insignificance when compared to elsewhere.

    Udu Point on Vanua Levu, the second largest island in the archipelago, reported an eye-watering 1007mm of rain in the same time period.

    As would be expected, this amount of rains triggered flooding and forced the closure of many roads and bridges.

    Fiji comprises of 110 permanently inhabited islands, many of which are very mountainous. The granite peaks soar up to 1300m, and rise abruptly from the coast.

    These mountains increase the risk of flash flooding and landslides during torrential rains.

    The island nation is certainly no stranger to rain, and on average most places receive between 2000 and 3000mm per year. Some mountains, however, do expect significantly more, up to 6000mm.

    Most of the rain falls in the wet season between November and April, and this is also when the country can be threatened by the occasional tropical cyclone.

    This latest downpours are therefore slightly early in the year, but the system is slowly consolidating and could well become a tropical cyclone in the next 24 hours.

    Whether it develops into a tropical system or not, the system currently remains just to the north of Fiji and is likely to continue to pour torrential rain across the archipelago in the next few days.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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