People in Fiji are being warned of flash floods due to a category 1 tropical cyclone

People in Fiji are being warned of flash floods due to a category 1 tropical cyclone
Tropical Cyclone Cody is slowly moving away from Fiji but emergency management authorities say lingering heavy rain continues to create high risk for the country amid a third wave of the coronavirus.

The category 1 storm left one person dead, caused widespread flooding which forced close to 2,000 people to flee their homes and seek shelter at 110 evacuation centres activated across Fiji.

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said the capital Suva was spared by Cody, but it had belted the whole of the main island Viti Levu with heavy rains since late last week.

Flash flooding was reported across the country and Seruiratu said Cody may intensify to a category 2 storm as it moved south west out of Fiji.

"This will mean that flooding will continue to be a concern to us.

"Although weather has improved in many parts of the country, the safety of Fijians remains a top priority for the government and our officers on the ground continue to closely work with the Fiji Police Force and the National Fire Authority and other relevant stakeholders in the safe evacuation of Fijians in flood affected areas."

Seruiratu said the Fiji Meteorological Service forecasted TC Cody and its associated rainfalls would affect the country throughout the week.

Already schools were shut as Cody also damaged infrastructure and other essential services.

Schools used as evacuations centres would be disinfected to ensure the safety of students when school resumed, Seruiratu said.

Fiji's Government said public health concerns remained its priority concern as it continued to encourage Fijians in low lying areas to move into the evacuation centres.