31 Jan 2006

Cyclone Jim moving beyond New Caledonia's Loyalty Islands, losing intensity

9:18 pm on 31 January 2006

Cyclone Jim, which has battered parts of New Caledonia and southern Vanuatu over the past 24 hours, is expected to lose intensity over the next 12 hours.

Its winds will drop to 79 knots or around 130 kilometres an hour as it continues in an east south easterly direction.

Early reports from New Caledonia say the storm, which has moved away from the Loyalty Islands, has caused minor damage, while Vanautu's weather office says the strong winds affecting its southern islands will ease overnight.

Seas in the region remain rough and the forecasters strong advice is not to go out to sea until the system moves away completely.