Fiji – Tropical Cyclone Ana Leaves 1 Dead, 5 Missing

At least 1 person has died, 5 are missing and over 7,000 are displaced after Tropical Cyclone Ana made landfall in Fiji early on 31 January, 2021.

Many parts of the country are still recovering after Tropical Cyclone Yasa made landfall as a category 5 system on 17 December.

Floods in Fiji after Tropical Cyclone Ana, January 2021. Photo: Fiji Government

According to Fiji’s National Disaster Management Office (NDMO), 7,612 people have evacuated their homes and were staying in 204 evacuation centres in the Northern, Eastern, Central and Western Divisions.

Power and water outages were affecting parts of the country. One person died by drowning, while 4 fishermen were reported missing at sea. Fiji Police said they are searching for a young child who was reported missing in Lautoka.

In a statement of 31 January, Director of NDMO, Ms. Vasiti Soko, said:

“TC Ana made landfall in Ra this morning and is moving over Viti Levu as predicted by the Fiji Meteorological Services. We are in the midst of a cyclone with widespread flooding throughout the country…”

Heavy rainfall has been falling in parts of the country over the last few days, intensifying as TC Ana moved closer. According to Fiji Meteorological Service (FMS) figures, Nadarivatu recorded 352mm of rain in 24 hours to 31 January, and Seaqaqa 350mm in the same period.

The worst of the flooding was reported in Seaqaqa and Labasa. The government said most areas of the two towns were under water.

Fiji Roads Authority (FRA) reported 138 roads and bridges had been closed to traffic as a result of landslides, flooding and storm debris across Central, Northern and Western Divisions. At least 88 of those closed were in Western Division. FRA also said several rivers have broken their banks including the Rewa in Nausori and the Waimanu near Waila City. Teams from NDMO were called on to help rescue families from flooded areas of Waila.

FMS reported that, as of late 31 January, Tropical Cyclone Ana was a category 2 storm, located about 75km east-southeast of Kadavu and about 90km west of Matuku.

Although TC Ana was moving away from Fiji, FMS warned of further strong winds and heavy rain, with a “high risk of flooding of roads, villages, towns and communities near streams, rivers and low lying areas of Fiji.”

Meanwhile FMS reported that another tropical cyclone, named Tropical Cyclone Bina (previously Tropical Depression TD07F), is following close behind TC Ana.

According to FMS, Tropical Cyclone Bina is currently located to the northwest of Fiji and is anticipated to track southeastwards towards the country.

“This fast moving cyclone is anticipated to affect parts of the country, especially the northern division,” FMS warned.

Floods in Fiji after Tropical Cyclone Ana, January 2021. Photo: Fiji Government
Floods in Fiji after Tropical Cyclone Ana, January 2021. Photo: Fiji Government
Track Tropical Cyclone Ana, Fiji, 31 January 2021. Image: FMS

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