25 Feb 2004

Cyclone Ivy expected to hit Vanuatu's Penama province this morning

9:21 am on 25 February 2004

Cyclone Ivy is expected to hit the islands of Vanuatu's northern Penama province later this morning.

Jotham Napat, the director of Vanuatu's Meteorological office, says hurricane winds of 65 knots will strike the islands while gale force winds will affect Banks islands, Sanma and Malamba provinces later today.

He says cyclone Ivy is currently 20 nautical miles north-east of Maewo island, travelling in a west-southwesterly direction at 8 knots.

Mr Napat says people in low lying and coastal areas need to take shelter.

"Heavy rainfall will continue to affect such provinces. A huge cloud pan with heavy rain should be expected and that heavy rainfall will cause rivers over some areas to overflow their banks and flooding of flood plain areas. People should expect that and people are asked to take extra care while living in such areas."

Mr Napat says high seas are also expected.