Another tropical cyclone heads for storm-battered Fiji

Floods, landslides and power cuts lash the southwest Pacific islands as a new developing system moves in.

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    Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on 20 February  [EPA/Clements]
    Tropical Cyclone Winston made landfall in Fiji on 20 February [EPA/Clements]

    Flooding rains have returned to Fiji, just a month after Cyclone Winston left 44 people dead. Many parts have had more than 200mm, leading the country's NaDraki Weather Service to issue extensive flash flood warnings.

    The main island of Viti Levu has been among the worst affected places. Around a quarter of Nadi, which is Fiji's third largest conurbation, has been flooded.

    The city had 246mm of rain in the 24 hours up to 06:00 GMT on Monday. A staggering 107mm of rain fell in just six hours. The average for the entire month of April is 204mm.

    The rain was even heavier to the south. Ono-i-Lau recorded 273mm of rain in just 24 hours.

    Much of the country has seen floods, landslides and power cuts. This has all come from a tropical disturbance which is now moving away.

    Unfortunately there is another storm approaching. Tropical Cyclone Zena has developed to the east of Vanuatu and is expected to pass just to the south of Fiji during Wednesday.

    The storm is currently located 350km to the west of Suva with sustained winds of 165 kilometres per hour with gusts nearer 205km/h.

    One note of optimism comes from the fact that the system is moving quickly. It is moving east-southeast at around 48km/h. hence, the worst of the weather will be short-lived. The strong winds and accompanying heavy rain should be expected to clear through by the end of Thursday. 

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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