TC Ella forecasted to intensify to Category 3 by Saturday
Tropical Cyclone Ella is expected to strengthen into a Category 3 storm over Vanua Levu at around 6 pm on Saturday.
TC Ella is supposed to make landfall at Udu Point on Vanua Levu later tonight as a category two storm. It is slow-moving at 12km/hr and could cause widespread destruction if it continues to intensify.
The northern parts of Fiji could experience damaging gale force or even destructive force winds over the next 24-48 hours if TC Ella continues to intensify, according to the Fiji Meteorological Service.
Schools in the Lau Group, northern Vanua Levu and Taveuni have been directed to close, with the education ministry advising other school heads to keep monitoring weather reports and make decisions on school closures accordingly.
Some islands in the maritime regions in Fiji’s East started experiencing heavy downpour and high winds from this morning.
In sports, Fiji Rugby’s Skipper Cup competition scheduled for Saturday has been deferred to next week. Fiji Football hasn’t decided whether the Fiji FACT planned to be held in Nausori this weekend would proceed.
Slow-moving TC Ella changes track again, now expected to slice through Vanua Levu
6.00 am May 11 – Tropical Cyclone Ella intensified into a category two system overnight and is supposed to make landfall at Udu Point in Vanua Levu later Thursday night.
TC Ella is expected to change course again, tracking either north or south, as it gets closer to the Fiji group. It was located 440 km north-west of Vanuabalavu at midnight Thursday.
A tropical cyclone alert remains in force for Lau and Lomaiviti Group, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands.
TC Ella is moving towards Fiji at 16 km/hr and could bring damaging gale force winds over parts of Fiji from Friday.
Tropical Cyclone Donna is no longer a tropical cyclone.
Vanuabalavu braces for impact as TC Ella changes course
2.00pm May 10 – Tropical Cyclone Ella is expected to intensify into a category 2 cyclone with sustained winds of 50 knots by tonight.
TC Ella was located 605 km off Vanuabalavu earlier today. It formed outside the official cyclone season which ended on April 30th, near Pago Pago in Samoa, at around 4.45pm on Tuesday.
Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna has weakened to a Category 1 system and did not pose any threat to Fiji.
A Fiji Met forecaster said TC Ella would gradually move towards Vanuabalavu with associated rain bands affecting the entire Fiji group.
Police have urged the public to continue listening to weather advisories and be wary of heavy rain and flash flooding.
An officer based in Vanuabalavu said they were working with the village headman and had prepared emergency kits, food, and water as they braced for the TC Ella’s impact.
In Rakiraki, people are taking precautions in securing their homes. Tavua and Ba are reportedly experiencing windy and cloudy weather. (Femlink).
The National Disaster Management Office said they were monitoring the situation and were on standby to respond if needed.
The Ministry of Education has also advised all school heads this morning to liaise closely with parents and community leaders.
Emergency contact numbers: Police – 917, Ambulance – 910 or 911, Fire – 910 or 911, Broken Power Lines – 913, DISMAC Ops Center – 3319250
Fiji sandwiched between 2 cyclones as TC Ella expected to make landfall on Thursday
5.00pm 09 May – The Fiji Meteorological Service forecasts Tropical Cyclone Ella to intensify to Category 2 as it makes landfall at midnight on Thursday at Vanua Levu.
TC Ella is currently a Category 1 cyclone located 800km east-northeast of Taveuni. It is moving at about 4 knots and is expected to maintain its westward track moving towards Fiji.
A strong wind warning remains in force for all Fiji waters and Lau land areas.
Expect cloudy periods with some showers over the eastern parts and interior of the larger
islands. Elsewhere, Fine apart from afternoon or evening showers and possible thunderstorms.
Tropical Cyclone Donna
5.00pm 09 May – Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna has now weakened to a Category 3 system and is expected to weaken further as it continues to track near New Caledonia.
TC Donna developed into the strongest May cyclone ever recorded in the southern hemisphere as it passed just to the west of Vanuatu over the weekend bringing flooding rains and damaging winds.