NaDraki: Catastrophic flooding expected
While Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Zena will bring damaging effects, a weather summary by the NaDraki Weather service predicts that a combination of factors will cause catastrophic flooding for most of the country in the next couple of days. On their 8am update, NaDraki said TD15 filled up our rivers and waterways, TD14F which has […]
Lice Movono-Rova, Peni Shute
April 6, 2016 10:48 am
While Category 2 Tropical Cyclone Zena will bring damaging effects, a weather summary by the NaDraki Weather service predicts that a combination of factors will cause catastrophic flooding for most of the country in the next couple of days.
On their 8am update, NaDraki said TD15 filled up our rivers and waterways, TD14F which has now weakened brought the rain clouds but the West/North Westerly winds will ensure flood waters stay or continue to rise even as the tides subside.
Na Draki said a new moon expected tomorrow will bring even higher than normal tides.
Flood levels will be higher today than they were Monday and we can anticipate catastrophic flooding over much of the west and north of Viti Levu and northern Vanua Levu.
Major flooding, perhaps less catastrophic but still extremely hazardous, will affect the central and eastern divisions today.
NaDraki said it looked as if mother nature was playing with Fiji “much like a cat might play with a mouse it has caught!”
While TD14F has weakened, it remains over waters close to and west of Fiji and that means that during the day today, clouds will push across the country taking with it, heavy rain and further flooding. The flood waters brought by TD15F on Sunday and Monday remain across much of the western division and NaDraki predicts this will rise even higher ahead of the next high tide at 5pm.
The new moon tomorrow means tides will be exceptionally high today and tomorrow. Strengthening west to northwest winds will further complicate matters as the winds push sea water up into the mouths of the Ba and Nadi rivers, preventing flood waters from exiting the river even when the tide is falling.
Tropical Cyclone Zena, while weak at Category 2 according to the Fiji Weather Service, has the potential to be dangerous given the high population in the Central Eastern division.
A category 2, or even a category 1, tropical cyclone passing along the south coast of Viti Levu and within 50km or so of the densely populated greater Suva urban area from Pacific Harbour to Nausori has the potential to be extremely hazardous.
Category 2 will bring winds gusting to 120 kph tomorrow morning around southern Viti Levu including the capital. Even if it is only Category 1 winds will likely gust to 90 kph.
The damage one can expect is to weak structures and crops and so people are in the Suva area must put up shutters and prepare for water and power disruptions.
It must be emphasized however that very destructive winds such as those observed during severe TC Winston are not expected.
The one thing that TC Zena does have in common with TC Winston is that it is moving quite fast and once the cyclone moves east of us later tomorrow morning, the weather will improve quickly.
Between now and then, however, we will have much to contend with, and you should complete cyclone preparations early and listen for local advisories and warnings from DISMAC.
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