The sea is invading. That’s what it seems like in the videos recorded by people in Fiji showing ongoing coastal flooding this week.
Huge swells have come onto the land and flooded coastal villages and island communities.
— Joe Kotobalavu (@joekotobalavu) June 14, 2022
Oceanographer Dr Moritz Wandres was in Fiji to record the swells that caused the inundation of coastal areas.
He tweeted: “#CoastalFlooding in the #SouthPacific is often triggered by distant-source swells. We were lucky to capture one of the biggest wave events to hit #Fiji in recent years with our instruments.”
He captured video along Queens Road in Viti Levu. The exact location is Vatukarasa along the Coral Coast.
— Dr Moritz Wandres (@M_Wandres) June 14, 2022
Fiji Meteorological Services said they have started receiving impact reports of coastal sea flooding that occurred Thursday morning along Serua, Coral Coast and Lakeba Island in the Lau Group.
Although the phenomenon is not new, this is the first time it has been to this extent.
The Fiji Meteorological Services has issued a coastal inundation warning for islands as well as a warning for damaging swells.
Video showed coastal flooding in Lakeba, an island in the Lau Group.
📽️Sea flooding this morning at the government station on Lakeba Island, Lau. pic.twitter.com/HfOrZaCCPp
— Fiji Meteorological Service (@FJMETservice) June 15, 2022
According to the Fiji Meteorological Services, those living along these coastal areas are advised to remain cautious and vigilant of coastal inundation of debris, especially during high tides.
Hazardous breaking waves and strong currents are risky for swimming, fishing and other recreational sea activities. Sea conditions can also be dangerous for small boats as they can capsize due to large waves and rough seas.
The current situation is being closely monitored and members of the public are advised to remain updated with the latest weather information.
#TeamFiji please stay safe and away from flooded coastal areas.
Coastal sea flooding at Waciwaci District School on Lakeba Island in the Lau Group almost an hour ago. https://t.co/wynZhhChDz
— Fiji Meteorological Service (@FJMETservice) June 14, 2022
Local journalist Joe Kotobalavu posted a video of the sea rushing into a village in Sigatoka.
The village elders feel this is an effect of climate change.