As of 09:00 (local time) on Wednesday, February 14, Cyclone Gita was approximately 320 km (200 mi) south of the Fijian capital of Suva. The storm was moving westward at around 15 km/h (9 mph), packing maximum sustained winds of 200 km/h (124 mph), with gusts of up to 250 km/h (155 mph).
Cyclone Gita hit the Fijian islands of Vatoa and Ono-i-Lau on the evening of Tuesday, February 13. Although no casualties have been reported as of Wednesday morning, multiple houses were destroyed on Ono-i-Lau. According to authorities, damage assessments are ongoing.
According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, a gale warning remains in effect for Matuku, Kadavu, Ono, Buliya, and Dravuni, while a strong wind warning is in effect for all of Fiji. Further flooding, transportation disruptions, and power outages are possible in these and other affected areas of Fiji in the coming hours.
Cyclone Gita brought severe flooding and associated damages in Samoa and American Samoa before striking Tonga and leaving widespread damages. Samoa declared a state of emergency, and US President Donald Trump signed an emergency declaration for American Samoa on February 11.
Cyclone season in the region typically lasts from November to April but storms can occur outside this period.
Individuals present in Fiji are advised to monitor local weather reports and follow all instructions as issued by local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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