Cyclone Cook Batters Vanuatu As Contact With Some Outer Islands Lost

Cyclone Cook is expected to intensify and move towards New Caledonia

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, April 11, 2017) – Nearly 200 people around Efate, the main island in Vanuatu, have been moved to evacuation centres because of flooding caused by Cyclone Cook.

The category two cyclone has brought widespread flooding and strong winds to Vanuatu over the past 24 hours.

Peter Korisa at the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office in Port Vila said they have not been able to restore communications with the outer islands but he said there was extensive flooding on Efate.

He said they have moved close to 200 people into evacuation shelters because their houses were in flood prone areas.

Mr Korisa said these numbers would rise if the rain continues.

Cyclone Cook was expected to intensify and move towards New Caledonia.

Current projections have it hitting New Caledonia directly on Monday afternoon.

Information from the Vanuatu Meteorological Service

The Vanuatu met service said damaging and destructive winds and very rough seas with heavy swells are expected over Shefa and Tafea Province.

Heavy rainfall, and flash flooding is expected over low lying areas and areas close to river banks.

Coastal flooding is also expected.

The system moved in a southwest direction at 16 kilometres per hour in the past 6 hours.

Winds close to the centre are estimated at 110 kilometres an hour, gusting to 160 kilometres an hour.

Tropical Cyclone Cook is forecast to be at 19.9 degrees South 166.3 degrees East within the next 6 to 12 hours.

Destructive storm force winds of 90 kilometres an hour gusting to 130 kilometres an hour will continue to affect Shefa province.

Damaging gale force winds of 75 kilometres an hour, gusting to 100 kilometres an hour are expected over parts of Tafea province. Winds over these areas will slowly weaken as the system moves southwest.

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office advises that Red Alert remains current for Shefa province and Blue Alert remains for Tafea province.

The all clear has been given to Malampa province.

People over Malampa, Shefa and Tafea Province should listen to all Radio Outlets to get the latest information on this system.

Radio New Zealand International
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