Category 1 Tropical Cyclone Mal on its current path it is expected to be around 200 kilometres west of Nadi at midnight tonight as a category 2 system.
The Nadi Weather Office says at its forecast track, it is not expected to make landfall.
The centre of TC Mal was located about 440 kilometres West-Northwest of Rotuma and about 690 kilometres Northwest of Yasawa-I-Rara at midnight.
TC Mal is moving in the southeast direction at 43 kilometres per hour.
A flash flood warning is in force for low-lying flash flood-prone areas in low-lying areas and crossing in Qauia, Lami and low-lying areas in Wailoku including Marata Village.
A flash flood alert for flood-prone areas, small streams and low-lying areas of Lami, Suva and Nausori to Tailevu areas, Coral Coast to Navua, Naitasiri Province and Ovalau.
Possible impacts due to heavy rain include localised flooding of susceptible communities, businesses and low-lying areas, localised flooding of minor roads, Irish Crossings and bridges with some disruption to traffic flow, and poor visibility at land and sea with increased risk of accidents due to slippery roads.
Periods of rain, heavy at times are likely to be over the Fiji group until early today.
A heavy rain warning and a strong wind warning remain in force for the whole of the Fiji Group.
A storm warning remains in force for Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups, Western and Northern Viti Levu, while a gale alert is now in force for Rotuma, western half Vanua Levu (Dreketi, Bua to Savusavu), eastern Viti Levu and Lomaiviti Group.
The Nadi Weather Office says this means that damaging cyclone-related winds are imminent in these locations within 24 hours.
A storm alert is in force for Southern Viti Levu, Vatulele, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands.
The path of the system is expected to pass close to the west of Viti Levu with storm-force winds over the Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups, western and southern Viti Levu, Vatulele, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands.
However, it is a huge system and its effect can be far-reaching.
Consequently, a gale warning is in force as far as western Vanua Levu (Dreketi, Bua to Savusavu), eastern Viti Levu and Lomaiviti Group.
These winds can break tree branches, blow unsecured and loose materials, disrupt communication network and power supply due to damaged power lines, damage temporary and weak structures, increase the risk of sea travel for all types of sea crafts, and increase the risk for hazardous breaking waves and coastal inundation of debris along low lying coastal areas, especially during high tides.
The cyclone may begin to have an impact on the Yasawa and Mamanuca Groups from later today.
While the system is expected to begin to affect Viti Levu from this afternoon, most of the destructive winds are expected overnight and into early tomorrow morning.
People are advised to do as much preparatory work during the daylight hours.
The trough of low pressure associated with Cyclone Mal is already bringing a lot of rain over the country, especially over the Northern, Eastern and Central Divisions.
High tides are expected at around 6am today and around 12.30pm tonight.
Parliament passes Bill to reinstate the Great Council of Chiefs
Parliament has passed the iTaukei Affairs (Amendment) Bill 2023 which allows the reinstatement of the Great Council of Chiefs.
28 MPs voted for the Bill, 22 voted against it, 3 did not vote and 1 MP abstained.
While tabling the Bill, Attorney General, Siromi Turaga said the Great Council of Chiefs was established under the iTaukei Affairs Act 1944 however in 2012 the establishing provision of the Council was repealed through the iTaukei Affairs (Amendment) Decree 2012 which also removed or amended various provisions under the Act that made reference to the Council.
The iTaukei Affairs (Amendment) Bill 2023 amends the Act to insert an establishing provision for the GCC in the Act and includes reference to the Council in other provisions of the Act and the iTaukei Trust Fund Act 2004 as applicable.
The Bill also requires the iTaukei Affairs Board to refer to the Council any question relating to the iTaukei people that the Minister may submit to the Board.
The Bill also amends section 11 of the Act to require the Minister to refer to the Board or the Council any proposed Bill that is intended to be introduced to Parliament and
which may appear to the Minister to affect in any important matter the rights and interests of the iTaukei people.
The Board or the Council, as the case may be, is then required to submit the proposed Bill with a memorandum, which is to be used in the Parliamentary debate process.
PM’s motion passed to reduce overseas travel allowances for the PM, Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of Opposition and MPs
Parliament has passed the Prime Minister’s motion to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of the Opposition and Members of Parliament from December 1st 2023 although the Opposition opposed the motion saying that they should wait for the Parliamentary Emoluments Committee report.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for Communications and SMEs, Manoa Kamikamica has today confirmed that as soon as they got into office, he reduced his overseas travel allowance to 100 percent and some other ministers did the same however, this should have been done a long time ago.
Kamikamica highlighted this while supporting the motion moved by Prime Minister Sitiveni Rabuka to reduce the rates payable for overseas travelling allowances for the Prime Minister, Cabinet Ministers, Assistant Ministers, Leader of the Opposition and Members of Parliament.
Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum still in Singapore, we will surrender his passport within 24 hrs when he comes to Fiji – Sharma
Former Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum is still in Singapore recovering from the surgery he received last month.
His lawyer, Devanesh Sharma, says from the doctor’s assessment, Sayed-Khaiyum has gone through internal procedures and he won’t be able to travel until the end of December.
Sharma says once he arrives, they will surrender his client’s passport to the court.
Acting Chief Magistrate Waleen George told both counsels that it is better to put a mention date in January.
When the Acting Chief Magistrate questioned Sharma if Sayed-Khaiyum will be in the country in January, he assured the court that Sayed-Khaiyum will be in Fiji.
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