11 Mar 2015

Northern Vanuatu braces for Cyclone Pam

3:12 pm on 11 March 2015

The northern provinces of Vanuatu are bracing for damaging gale force winds and potential flooding as Cyclone Pam heads towards the country.

Satellite image of depression east of Vanuatu

A satellite image of the tropical depression near Vanuatu earlier this week, before it developed into Cyclone Pam. Photo: Fiji Meteorological Service

The cyclone developed in the eastern Solomon Islands, which are experiencing heavy rain, and is moving towards Vanuatu and Fiji.

The acting director of Vanuatu's Meteorological Department, David Gibson, said the Category 3 cyclone was about 500 kilometres north-east of the northern part of Vanuatu and moving in a south-southwest direction.

He said winds of 75 kilometres per hour were expected to affect the northern provinces of Torba, Sanma, Penama, and Malampa within the next 12 to 24 hours.

"We are expecting damaging gale force winds, we have cautioned people on flooding - heavy rainfall, flooding, as well as coastal flooding - and it's likely to affect the northern province."

People in Fiji are being warned not to go to sea this week.

Fiji's Met Service tracking Cyclone Pam

Fiji's Met Service tracking Cyclone Pam Photo: FMS

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Photo: RNZI

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