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Roads blocked as Cyclone Mona heads towards Fiji

More roads have been closed by flooding and slips as Cyclone Mona heads towards the eastern tip of Fiji's Vanua Levu.

Mona is expected to skim past the island late tonight and then angle through the Eastern Division of the country.

The category one storm packs winds gusting up to 120km/hr at present but has brought about heavy rainfall across much of the country already.

This afternoon Mona was located around 190 kilometres North of Labasa, the largest town on Vanua Levu, where the surrounding areas are mainly used for agricultural, particularly sugar cane farming.
Tracking map for Cyclone Mona

Tracking map for Cyclone Mona Photo: Fiji Met Service

Senior Forecaster Amit Singh said the projected track now deviated slightly from this morning's forecast.

"The forecast this morning was for it to come very close to the eastern tip of Vanua Levu but looking at our weather imaging now it looks like it will past just east of that point and head towards or very close to Taveuni, to Lomaiviti group and passing just east of Kadavu," he said.

Cyclone Mona has been in Fiji waters since Thursday, initially avoiding the northern island of Rotuma before heading out to open seas to the west.

However the storm, which became a category two cyclone before losing intensity, then looped back around and made its way towards Fiji's main islands of Vanua Levu and Viti Levu.

Mr Singh said although erratic, it wasn't a particularly strange phenomenon.

"It depends how the systems are being steered by the atmosphere that is close," he said.

Local authorities have warned people not to be complacent and to make sure they are prepared for the storm.

Earlier the head of the National Disaster Managment Office, Anare Lewiniqila, said he expected flooding to be the greatest issue due to the heavy rains brought by Mona to the already sodden country.

As the storm closes in, over 600 people have already sought shelter in one of 15 shelters that have been opened by the National Disaster Management Office.

Domestic flights and sailings have been suspended and at least 33 roads across the country have been closed due to flooding or slips.

The Fiji Roads Authority said people should still exercise extreme caution and avoid crossing flooded areas.

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