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04 Apr 2020 | 12:13 AM UTC

Vanuatu: Tropical Cyclone Harold intensifies to Category 3 storm April 4 /update 1

Tropical Cyclone Harold strengthens to a Category 3 storm as is moves towards Vanuatu on April 4; severe weather warnings in effect

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Event

Tropical Cyclone Harold continues to move towards Vanuatu as of the afternoon (local time) of Saturday, April 4. Earlier in the day, the storm strengthened into a Category 3 storm and is expected to bring heavy rainfall and damaging winds to Vanuatu by Sunday, April 5. According to the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department, Harold may continue to intensify before reaching the islands. Severe storm warnings are in effect for all of Vanuatu as of Saturday afternoon. Flooding, power outages, and landslides are possible, particularly in Torba and Sanma provinces. Associated transportation disruptions, including to maritime services, are also expected.  

As of 15:20 on Saturday, Tropical Cyclone Harold is located at approximately 14.0°S 164.3°E (map here) and is moving east-southeast at 11 kph (7 mph). Harold has wind speeds of up to 150 kph (93 mph) and may continue to develop over the coming hours and days.

Advice

Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.