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Vanuatu bracing for Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold

6th April 2020

Whilst the majority of Australia will experience a quiet week on the weather front, the South Pacific island chain of Vanuatu is bracing for impact from Severe Tropical Cyclone Harold.

AT 11am Vanuatu local time, Harold, currently a severe category 5 system with maximum wind gusts to 235km/h was crossing the west coast of Santo and roughly 35km west southwest of Luganville.

During the next 24 hours, Harold is expected to move steadily in a southeasterly direction and weaken slightly to a category 4 system whilst affecting the islands of Malekula, Malo, Paama, Lopevi, Ambae, Maewo, Pentecost, Ambrym and Epi as a category 4 system.

Port Villa on the island of Efate and the capital of Vanuatu will be spared a direct hit from this small but intense cyclone. However, locally damaging winds to 90km/h and heavy rainfall are expected to develop on Efate, particularly across the east coast of the island.

Image 1: IR CIRA RAMMB Slider satellite imagery

Image 2: Tropical Cyclone forecast track via Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department

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