Tropical depression continues to affect Fiji

More rain is expected in Fiji today as authorities warn people to be vigilant as the bad weather could lead to flash flooding of low-lying areas.

Fiji Times Online reports the inclement weather, which has brought heavy rainfall and strong winds in some parts of the country, is being caused by Tropical Depression TD17F, which was located about 310 kilometres north-north-west of Nadi at midday yesterday.

It is moving towards the country at 15km per hour.

Fiji Meteorological Service director Ravind Kumar said the concern for Fiji was the associated strong winds, rain and the likelihood of flooding of low-lying areas.

"The chance of TD17F developing into a tropical cyclone over Fiji waters remains low," he said.

A heavy rain warning was upgraded to cover the entire Fiji group, with a strong wind warning in force for the land areas and waters of Fiji and Rotuma.

A flood warning was also issued for low lying areas adjacent to Rakiraki River and areas including Naqoro Flats, Rakiraki Town and Qalau.

Kumar said they were expecting improvement in the weather from midday today.

"Rain is expected to start easing and clearing from the west as TD17F continues moving eastward."

"The general public is advised that the tropical cyclone and wet season is in progress, therefore all communities are to remain alert and prepared at all times."

"Furthermore, take forecast warnings and advisories seriously and make timely and informed decisions," he said.

The associated trough with active rain bands is expected to continue affecting the country until tomorrow.

Fiji Village reports the Qawa river has burst its banks causing flooding to a number of areas in Labasa this morning.

The Nadi Weather Officer has confirmed that most places in Labasa have been affected by flooding which includes the Labasa Civic Centre area, Bulileka, Soasoa, Siberia, Wailevu and Airport road.

The water level in the Labasa River is still rising and a flood warning is in force for Labasa town.

According to Labasa Police, Korotari bridge, Vunivau flats, Vulovi flats, Nakai, Nacula, Naduna, Soasoa flats, Vunimoli bridge, Lajonia, Dawaira and Batinikama areas have been affected by flood waters.

Fiji is still recovering from Cyclone Zena over a week ago and on top of the devastation caused by Cyclone Winston over six weeks ago.

(Picture: Mitchkoi Blog) 

Radio New Zealand