TC Ana hits Fiji: Nacula villagers evacuated to community hall

Nacula village rescue
Children and elderly people being evacuated to the community hall at Nacula Village in Labasa, Fiji, today. Image: Picture: The Fiji Times

By Timoci Vula in Labasa

Fiji villagers of Nacula in Labasa whose homes are under water after the Labasa River broke its banks this morning have been evacuated to the community hall.

Elderly people and children were assisted by men from their homes and were transported on boats to the village hall.

The majority of the homes in the village are now inundated with floodwaters as the high tide came in after 8am today.

Heavy rain and strong winds continue to be experienced here in Labasa.

We will try to bring you more updates from the north when the weather situation eases.

The Fiji Times reports that Tropical Cyclone Ana had intensified into a category 2 system overnight with sustained winds of about 50 knots (95km/hr) gusting to 70 knots (130 km/hr) near the centre along with heavy rainfall and thunderstorms over most places.

According to the Fiji MET Office in Nadi, TC Ana centre is expected to be tracking east-southeastwards at about 15 km/hr and exiting the central part of Viti Levu (from Nausori to Pacific harbor) from midday to late afternoon today and heading towards Kadavu.

The weather office says regardless of where the centre passes or enters, places around and close to where the centre passes such as Yasawa And Mamanuca Group, Viti Levu, the western half of Vanua Levu, Lomaiviti Group, Vatulele, Beqa, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands and Moala group are to expect destructive storm force winds.

Impacts possible
Significant damage to trees, weak structures and houses, heavy damage to crops, power failures and small crafts may break moorings due to storms force winds.

Rain and thunderstorms will continue o cause floods to fiji’s roads, villages, towns and communities near streams, rivers and low lying areas.

Expect very high seas and heavy swells with breaking waves reaching the coastal areas that may cause possible coastal inundation and sea flooding especially during high tide.

Poor visibility in areas of heavy rain and thunderstorms.

For the rest of Fiji
Expect damaging gale force winds with average speeds of 85km/hr and momentary gusts of upto 120km/hr.

Impacts will be minor damages to weak structures, minor damages to houses of very light materials in exposed communities, damages to crops and vegetation with trees tilting due to gales.

Timoci Vula is a Fiji Times reporter.

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