Vanuatu Authorities Tell People To Prepare As Cyclone Donna Approaches

Category 1 storm to impact Penama, Torba provinces; heavy rain and high seas anticipated 

Compiled by Glenda Willie

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, May 4, 2017) – The Vanuatu Meteorology And Geo-Harzards Department (VMGD) yesterday at 6.18pm issued Cyclone Warning Number 1 for Tropical Cyclone Donna.

According to a forecast track map issued yesterday at 6.24pm by the VMGD, Category 1 Cyclone Donna is expected to take a south westerly direction towards Penama and Torba provinces.

Sanma and Malampa provinces were also advised to prepare for the cyclone yesterday.

Meteorologist, Senior Weather Forecaster, Levu Antfalo said that the experts at the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department will continue to monitor and analyze the system.

Damaging winds and very rough seas are expected to affect islands in Torba, Penama and Sanma.

Rain with isolated heavy falls and possible thunderstorm expected over Northern and Central Vanuatu group today.

People living in low lying areas are advised to move to higher grounds as with the heavy rainfall flash flooding is expected.

People are advised to take extra precautions for possible flash flooding; especially areas close to river banks and in low lying areas, and to remain indoors where thunderstorm activities are happening.

Meanwhile, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre in Hawaii, global forecast data suggests the system is likely to undergo a period of rapid intensification today and Friday.

“The cyclone could reach a severe category 4 system with very destructive wind gusts as high as 260km/hr before impacting Vanuatu from late Friday through the weekend.

“Current rainfall forecasts indication the potential for significant river flooding, severe flash flooding and landslides across much of Vanuatu from the system with very heavy rain totals between 300 and 500mm.

“Dangerous and damaging waves including coastal tidal surge and inundation could develop across many of the islands if the system passes through,” the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre warned.

According to the website windy.com, the cyclone is projected to move across to Santo then southwards past Malekula on the west side of Vanuatu with the eye passing just west of Port Vila during the weekend or early next week, passing Efate then moves south east right over Tanna.

But while this online model is predicting this path, the cyclone can change direction and intensity any time so the public is advised to take warnings from the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazard Department as well as the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) seriously and prepare themselves and continue to monitor updates on the cyclone through the media such as radio and the VMGD website; www.vmgd.gov.vu.

Radio New Zealand International
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