Over 1900 people are taking refuge in 48 evacuation centres across Fiji as the Category 2 Cyclone Sarai continues to batter the country with gale force winds and torrential rain.
According to the latest update from the Fiji National Disaster Management Office 1117 people have sought refuge in 30 evacuation centres in the Western Division, which is bearing the brunt of the cyclone.
The Central Division has also been impacted strongly with 714 people being accommodated in 15 evacuation centres.
While two evacuation centres have also been opened in the Eastern Division and one in the Northern Division.
Cyclone Sarai maintaining its strength
The Fiji Meteorological Office said Tropical Cyclone Sarai is maintaining its strength and speed as it continues to batter Fiji with storm force winds gusting up to 150 km and hour and torrential rain.
The Category two storm is moving East Southeast at 15km/hr and was located 120 South Southwest of Kadavu which is 220km South Southwest of Suva at 4pm today.
Cyclone Sarai continues its slow movement around Fiji and communities in the western and northern divisions are experiencing strong gusts and heavy rain. Our teams are on standby to support with preparedness and response at the community level where needed.
Stay safe everyone! pic.twitter.com/srgQi7mv52
— Fiji Red Cross Society (@FijiRedCross) December 27, 2019
The Fiji National Disaster Management Office said it also assisted people living in low lying areas as strong storm surges have entered some villages along the coastal areas in the western division.
Villagers of Narikoso, Ono, Kadavu moved to their evacuation centre yesterday afternoon as #TCSarai caused damage to homes, trees & crops. Everyone is reported safe.
— GIZ Pacific (@GIZPasifika) December 27, 2019
Fiji Metservice forecaster Sakeasi Rabitu said on its current track Sarai will pass adjacent to the main island Viti Levu and then across Fiji’s southern islands, before heading towards Tonga’s Ha’apai Group.
“It is still continuing south-east with it, it is still expected to bring lots of gale force winds and heavy rain.”
“It is going to continue throughout the day continuing moving south of Kadavau, moving east. No landfall has been made yet but we have been fully experiencing the full brunt of the winds as well,” Sakeasi Rabitu said.
Tonga’s Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre has been activated as Tropical Cyclone Sarai is expected to cross into Tonga waters this weekend.
The Cyclone Warning Centre will continue to provide Tropical Cyclone Advisories, Alerts and Warnings for Tonga on the developments of Tropical Cyclone Sarai every six hours, advisories will be updated more often prior to its track closing into Tonga waters.
TC Sarai, Cat.2 was located about 70km southwest of Kadavu or about 160km southwest of Suva at 1pm today.
Close to its centre the cyclone is expected to have average winds of up to 110km/hr with momentary gusts to 150km/hr. TC Sarai is moving southeast at 16km/hr. pic.twitter.com/yLVXDEIY9t
— Metservice Fiji (@FJMETservice) December 28, 2019
Published at Sat, 28 Dec 2019 05:39:23 +0000
Source: Over 1900 people in evacuation centres as Cyclone Sarai rages on