28 Mar 2007

Cyclone Becky passes Vanuatu on course towards New Caledonia

4:08 pm on 28 March 2007

Vanuatu's capital Port Vila remains on cyclone alert as tropical cyclone Becky is now moving towards New Caledonia.

Vanuatu's National Disaster Management Office says the cyclone about 100 kilometers southwest of Efate and maintains a South-Southeasterly direction at the speed of 7 knots.

It says damaging Gale force winds of up to 47 knots are expected to affect parts of Efate and offshore islands today and extending to Tafea Province later.

Lora Lini of the Daily Post newspaper in Port Vila says all flight and ship schedules have been cancelled and other measures are in place.

"Schools have been closed and all the students have been sent home. It's very windy outside and the harbour is just really, really rough and everyone is staying in. And there are just a few offices are open but most of the people working in departments and the private firms have been sent home to make sure their homes are being sealed just in case this cyclone does a sudden turn."

Lora Lini.