Gales and landslides predicted for Solomons

2:59 pm on 2 July 2015

Solomon Islanders are being warned to prepare for flash floods and landslides as an out of season cyclone approaches.

Tropical cylcone Raquel

Tropical cyclone forecast track map for Raquel. Photo: Commonwealth of Australia, 2015, Bureau of Meteorology

Cyclone Raquel is already bringing gale force winds and heavy rain to parts of the country.

The category one cyclone 315 kilometres north of Honiara and is expected to bring strong winds and heavy rain when it reaches Isabel and Western Province in the next 12 hours.

Gusts of up 95 kilometres are predicted and forecasters say the cyclone's effects will last for the next few days.

Experts say the cyclone is unseasonal and are more typically expected from November through April.

Earlier this morning a magnitude 5.8 quake struck off the the coast of Makira-Ulawa Province.

The shallow quake hit 92 km southeast of Kira Kira, but the Solomon Islands police say it has not received any reports of damage.

Meanwhile the tropical storm Chan-hom is threatening independence day celebrations in the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas and Guam.

The storm is strengthening as it moves west towards the CNMI and Guam where it is expected to hit in the next couple of days.