12 Mar 2013

Gale force winds expected from Cyclone Sandra in New Caledonia

11:06 am on 12 March 2013

Cyclone Sandra is expected to cause gale force winds over much of New Caledonia today as it continues its southwards journey parallel with the main island.

A duty forecaster at the Fiji Meteorological Service says the storm is about 325 nautical miles west of Noumea and moving south-south-east at just over 11 kilometres an hour.

Amit Singh says Cyclone Sandra's most destructive winds are not likely to affect land areas.

"Because the centre is located to the west of New Caledonia and it will remain to the west and the extent of the storm force wind is about 60 nautical miles so if it maintains 60 nautical miles then we don't expect it to hit land areas with storm force winds."

Amit Singh says New Caledonia's northernmost islands will already be experiencing gale force winds.

He says Cyclone Sandra is gradually weakening.

The tropical cyclone watch advice for Solomon Islands has been cancelled.