People are advised to be prepared for strong winds and heavy rain as the centre of Severe Tropical Cyclone Gita is expected to enter the Fiji waters over the Southern Lau Group early tomorrow.
The Fiji Weather Office says people need to take precautionary measures now as Tropical Cyclone Gita will become a Category 5 system with destructive winds when it enters the Fiji waters.
A strong wind warning is in force for the Southern half of Viti Levu which includes Suva, Nausori, Navua, Sigatoka, Nadi and Lautoka, the Central Lau Group and Lomaiviti Group.
A hurricane warning is now in force for Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa.
Storm and gale warnings remain in force for Southern Lau, Matuku, Totoya, Moala, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lakeba and Nayau
The centre of Cyclone Gita is about 650 kilometres East of Ono-i-Lau.
Latest Tropical Cyclone Gita Threat Track map as at 7.25pm Mon 12 Feb 2018 [met.gov.fj]
Close to Gita’s centre, the average winds are up to 195 kilometres per hour with momentary gusts to 275 kilometres per hour. Expect very strong and destructive winds.
Cyclone Gita may bring damaging winds over the Southern Lau Group, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands from tomorrow morning.
Destructive winds are likely to begin several hours before the cyclone passes overhead or nearby.
For Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa and Southern Lau - expect strong winds and winds may increase to damaging gale force from late tonight to early tomorrow and further increase to destructive hurricane force winds of upto 230 kilometres per hour. Also expect phenomenal seas around these areas.
For other parts of the country, expect strong winds, heavy rain, thunderstorms and high seas from early tomorrow.
Weather Office Director, Ravin Kumar confirms that on the projected track, Cyclone Gita is anticipated to affect Southern Tonga and may enter Fiji waters early tomorrow morning.
It is likely to pass South of Ono-i-Lau as a Category 5 system tomorrow night.
Kumar says that before it approaches, strong winds can possibly expand to the whole of Fiji while damaging gale force to strong force winds can expand over the Western and Southern parts of Fiji as it comes closer.
Although the centre of the cyclone will not pass over Viti Levu, people are expected to experience strong winds and heavy rain.
Kumar says that the Weather Office will continue to monitor the system as it comes closer and as new information comes to hand, the projected tracks will be adjusted.Listen to the latest news on our 5 radio stations Legend FM, Viti FM, Radio Sargam, FM96 and Navtarang.