Last Updated: Sunday, February 17, 2019

Vanuatu: Tropical Cyclone Oma strengthens to a category 3


cyclone_oma_vanuatu_damage_2019
Traditionally-built homes in
Vanuatu have been receiving the
brunt of Cyclone Oma
(IFRC Asia Pacific/Twitter)
February 17, 2019: The Fiji Meteorological Service has upgraded Tropical Cyclone Oma to a category 3.

According to the Radio New Zealand, the tropical cyclone Oma lashed the northern islands of the Vanuatu over the past 24 hours, reportedly bringing down trees and houses in the area.

The Vanuatu Red Cross has reported that the houses and trees have been brought down by Cyclone Oma in the north of the country.

Related Post: Cyclone Donna forms NE of Vanuatu, poses no threat to Fiji

At 00:15 UTC, the Cyclone Oma was stationary about 285 kilometres west of Santo and was packing gusts of up to 130 km/hr.

According to the Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 26 issued by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD), Port Vila at 3:05 a.m. VUT, heavy rainfall and flash flooding over low lying areas and areas close to the river banks, including coastal flooding will continue to affect Torba, Sanma and Malampa provinces tonight. Seas will remain very rough to phenomenal with heavy and phenomenal swells over the affected areas.

The local National Disaster Management Office advised that a Red Alert was still in force for Sanma Province. Rain and wind are expected to increase across New Caledonia early this week as Tropical Cyclone Oma passes dangerously close.