Lau group on alert

By: Halitesh Datt

 

CXmtyP3UAAAeUSK.jpg largeThe Nadi Weather Office has tonight placed the entire Lau group on alert as Tropical Cyclone Ula approaches it.

Later this evening, tropical Cyclone Ula is expected to lie about 155 kilometers off Lakeba Island or 420 kilometers east southeast of Suva by 7’oclock tomorrow morning.

The tropical cyclone was located 475 kilometers east of Lakeba at around 4 o’clock this morning.

The tropical cyclone Ula on its projected path is expected to maintain a west southwest track as it approaches Fiji.

Islands in the Lau group are expected to experience the effects of the cyclone by later tonight.

” As it comes closer to Fiji waters, the islands in Lau group is expected to strong to gale force winds several hours ahead of the approach of the system. It is expected to lie about 275 kilometers south southwest of Lakeba or about 100 kilometers of Suva at 7am on Monday.” said Ravind Kumar- Director Meteorology

Lau group can experience winds upto 50 kilometers per hour.

Winds may also increase further to damaging gale force from Sunday Morning.

“The category 3 system is near Vava’u in Tonga, it is due to move west south west, coming closer to the Lau group. The closest it will get to the Lau group is the Kabara Island where it still remains a category 3 system. It moves further south and weakens into a category 2 system by 6am on Monday.” said Kumar

However flood warning for major river catchment basins have been cancelled.

” when we compare with what we have been experiencing in last couple of days, the weather has improved over the country however as the Tropical Cyclone approaches, we expect the winds and clouds and the rain associated with it to spread from east. ” said Kumar

Meanwhile tropical depression TD 07F has been downgraded to the low pressure system.

” Yesterday we were seeing that all the rains were coming down that way but now we see there is no more of those rain bands. Its only on certain parts of the country. Its basically in the oceans. So it has significantly eased off” said Kumar

People have been urged not to leave cyclone preparations to the last minute.

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