Tropical Cylone Mona is forecast to hit Fiji sometime over the weekend. This is currently a large and slow moving weather front and has potential to cause some serious damage. Information is a little limited, but we have pulled together advice and information to help keep you safe.
The Fiji Meteorological Service confirmed on Friday that the storm system has strengthened further and is now a Category 2 cyclone. It is projected to have a serious impact on several islands including ‘the Yasawa and Mamanuca Group, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands.’
Weather forecast and cancelled flights
Briefing from the Fiji Meteorological Service, issued on Friday 4th February at 13:00 local time –
Depending on the closeness of the system to pass land areas, gale force winds can be expected especially over the Yasawa and Vanua Levu Waters and Yasawa and nearby smaller islands. Damaging winds are likely to begin several hours before the cyclone centre passes overhead or nearby.
The effects of wind can cause damages to well-built framed homes which can blow away roofs, trees uprooted and branches being broken, severely damage weak structures, totally destroy shallow rooted crops, cause loose objects to fly, damage electricity lines and poles, damage water infrastructure, etc.
For Fiji Waters, mariners can expect northeast to southeast winds 20 to 30 knots, gusting to 45 knots and moderate southerly swells. Poor visibility in areas of rain and thunderstorms. Winds may further increase to 35 to 40 knots with high seas over Vanua Levu Waters and Yasawa Waters from later tomorrow.
Please click through to read the full report.
#TCMONA. Guests are advised that flights between Nadi/Suva and Labasa, Taveuni, Savusavu & Funafuti for tomorrow (Saturday January 5, 2019) are cancelled as a result of Tropical Cyclone Mona. Guests are advised to check the latest advisory on: https://t.co/euuGl6DeXP. Vinaka.
— Fiji Airways (@FijiAirways) January 4, 2019
If you are in the region –
- Monitor the local weather forecast. Use a couple of different apps and/or websites to get information from multiple sources.
- Look up and save contact details for your local embassy or consular services, and emergency services (different branches may have different numbers). For all contact information, make sure you make a note of it in an offline location too – you may need to make a call from a payphone or landline after your phone battery has died.
- Make sure you have your travel insurance information to hand and know when to call. If you have booked your trip through a travel agent or a tour company, keep that information stored safely too.
- Monitor local media.
- Keep mobile devices charged.
- Put aside a storm kit to help you wait out the worst of the weather. Include food that will not spoil and bottled drinking water, candles and matches, a first aid kit, medication, torch, phone charge, batteries, cash.
- Know what form evacuation notices will take – siren, police announcement, text message, etc – and be prepared to comply with them. Put together a grab bag that contains ID, travel documents, insurance information, medication, snacks and a bottle of water.
- Comply with advice from the local authorities.
- Be prepared for delays and disruption.
- Check in with friends and family.
- If something bad happens, check in with your local embassy as soon as it is safe to do so.
If you are heading to the region soon –
- Check in with your airline and travel agent to find out if your trip will be impacted.
- Monitor media reports.
- Talk to your travel insurance provider to check what is/is not covered, and plan accordingly.
Official travel advice
#Fiji: The Fiji Meteorological Service has issued a cyclone alert. Tropical Cyclone Mona is approaching Fiji and may strengthen to a category 2 cyclone by 5 January 2019. You should monitor local media and weather forecasts https://t.co/z9oRfTtNUd pic.twitter.com/IYSTzJ3R5E
— FCO travel advice (@FCOtravel) January 4, 2019
Fiji: Tropical cyclone Mona has formed off Fiji. If you’re heading to Fiji monitor the local media, including the Fiji met service, for the latest updates. And read our travel advice and subscribe for updates.https://t.co/b5uIk2lLxihttps://t.co/nvCc5qpe3Q
— Smartraveller (@Smartraveller) January 2, 2019
#Fiji: Tropical storm #Mona is likely to become a Category 1 cyclone and make landfall around January 6. Contact your tour operator to determine if the situation will disrupt travel plans. https://t.co/E0N1uztS0X
— travel.gc.ca (@TravelGoC) January 3, 2019
Further news and information
— Stuff (@NZStuff) January 3, 2019
#Cyclone #MONA is snaking S, toward #Fiji. Should reach Vanua Levu Sat or Sun, possibly at minimal #hurricane strength. Circulation is broad and loose, meaning it’ll likely strengthen only slowly. (It’s usually the *tiny* cyclones that can suddenly go nuclear.) pic.twitter.com/phsyWZnsiu
— Josh Morgerman (@iCyclone) January 3, 2019
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