Tropical Cyclone Mona is forecast to hit Fiji from Sunday, January 6, into Monday, January 7. As of Sunday afternoon (local time), the center of the storm was located near 14.8°S, 179.2°E, packing maximum sustained winds of 83 km/h (52 mph), and moving east-southeastward toward Vanua Levu at 17 km/h (10 mph). Mona is forecast to pass close to Vanua Levu on Sunday evening (local time), bringing some 15-30 cm (6-12 in) of rain and high winds to the island and to others nearby, potentially including Viti Levu.
Hundreds of people have taken shelter in evacuation centers across Fiji as of Sunday morning. Flooding due to heavy rains from the approaching storm has prompted authorities to close over a dozen roads. Flight delays and cancelations have also been reported.
Consequent flooding and landslides are possible in Fiji over the coming hours. Resulting transportation disruptions (including further flight disruptions and road closures) and power outages are to be expected.
Cyclone season typically lasts from November to April in the region.
Individuals in Fiji are advised to monitor local weather reports, confirm travel plans, avoid low-lying areas, keep battery-operated devices fully charged when possible, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. Remember that walking or driving through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater and chemical products; all items having come into contact with floodwater should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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