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Vanuatu issues red alert for Tropical Cyclone Harold

April 5, 2020: The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department, Port Vila has issued red alert for Sanma, Penama and Malampa provinces following tropical cyclone Harold. Also yellow alert has been issued for Torba and Shefa provinces.

The tropical cyclone warning has been issued for Sanma, Penama and Malampa provinces.

At 5:00 pm local time today, severe tropical cyclone Harold was located 175 km west of Luganville and 205 km west northwest of Malekula. Tropical cyclone harold is currently a category 4 cyclone. 

Severe tropical cyclone Harold has been moving slowly in a southwesterly direction at 5 km per hour in the past 3 hours. 

Damaging gale force winds, destructive storm force winds with heavy rainfalls and flash flooding over low lying areas and areas close to the river banks including coastal flooding are expected over Sanma, Penama and Malampa provinces and extending to Torba and Shefa provinces tonight.

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (VNDMO) has advised all residents under the red alert to remain indoors.

About 28 people aboard a ferry have been missing due to rough seas in the Solomon Islands. Tropical cyclone harold has formed in the Coral Sea, southwest of Honiara, Solomon Islands.

Heavy rainfall also flooded the Kukum Highway in Honiara

Harold is the 8th named storm of the 2019/20 South Pacific tropical cyclone season.

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