The Fiji Meteorological Service says Tropical Cyclone Sarai is now a Category two storm as it moves down Fiji’s west coast.
Tropical Cyclone Sarai is intensifying.
At 4pm Fiji time today, the centre was located 230 kilometres north-west of Nadi with wind gusts of upto 130 kilometres an hour.
The cyclone is moving south but will turn south-east, and on its forecast track will pass adjacent to the main island Viti Levu and then across Fiji’s southern islands, before heading towards Tonga’s Ha’apai Group.
Fiji National University has closed all campuses because of the storm and the Fiji Red Cross has implemented disaster preparedness plans.
Large trees are reported to have been brought down in the Suva area blocking roads and flooding in the Northern Division and Rakiraki have caused road closures.
Travellers to, from and within Fiji should contact airlines or shipping companies to confirm details as there have been cancellations.
Forecasters say the storm is also threatening prolonged periods of rain and flooding in low lying areas.
Fiji’s disaster office is advising people living in low-lying areas to move to higher ground as Tropical Cyclone Sarai intensifies.
It said all regional agencies are on stand-by to respond where and as necessary.
The office said heavy rain may lead to flooding of low-lying areas and coastal sea-flooding is expected during high tides.
The office is advising people in these at-risk areas to move to higher ground or local evacuation centres.
There are currently 63 people at evacuation points in Tokou Village in Ovalau, Matawalu Church in Lautoka and Marata Hall in Wailoku.