Cyclone Warning In Effect For Solomon Islands Provinces

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Residents near coasts, rivers urged to seek higher ground

By Douglas Marau

HONIARA, Solomon Islands (Solomon Star, Dec. 28, 2012) – A tropical cyclone warning has been issued for Makira/Ulawa and Rennell/Bellona provinces in the Solomon Islands.

Residents in these two provinces have been warned that a tropical depression is moving towards them and is likely to form into a tropical cyclone tonight (Friday) or tomorrow (Saturday).

Supervising chief forecaster Manoah Tepa explained that at around 11am yesterday a tropical depression was located at 165 nautical miles north-east of Malaita province.

The area of location, he said, was around the Sikaiana.

Mr. Tepa said the tropical depression is slowly moving south-west to east of Malaita province today.

"By Saturday night it is expected to be between Makira/Ulawa and Rennell/Bellona provinces," Mr. Tepa said.

He added that gale force winds should also develop to 34-47 knots by tomorrow and provinces of Temotu, Malaita, Guadalcanal, Makira/Ulawa and Rennell/Bellona are expected to experience bad weather.

"These provinces are expected to experience rough seas, heavy rain and strong winds in the coming days," he said.

Mr. Tepa said they are monitoring the depression very closely.

"There is a high chance that depression will develop into a tropical cyclone in the coming days," he said.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Office has issued an advice for boat travelers and fishermen not to go out at sea during this time.

Advice was also issued to those residing close to coastal waters and rivers to move to higher grounds.

Mr. Tepa warned people should not take the advice issued by the Meteorological Office lightly.

He said effects of the tropical depression will likely be felt in most parts of the country until it slowly moves away to New Caledonia.

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