Time to get ready: cyclone headed our way [updated]

Infrared satelliite image by NOAA

[Update #2 10:15pm 8/4 VUT] Vanuatu Meteorological Services has issued a Tropical Cyclone Warning for a tropical low currently still sitting between Pentecost, Malakula and Ambrym at letter G, number 6 on the Vanuatu cyclone tracking map. The system is not yet a named tropical cyclone, but is expected to form by 6am (Sunday 9/4) as it travels slowly south, according to VMS’s latest warning #5.

Gale force wind warnings are in effect for the Banks group, and Malampa, Penama, and Sanma provinces. Gale force winds are predicted for Shefa province within the next 24 hours. The expected cyclone may reach Category 1 strength offshore west of Efate by 5am tomorrow (Sunday 9/4) before moving towards New Caledonia.

Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map Number 9 issued at 8:59 pm VUT Saturday 8 April 2017

Vanuatu Meteorological Services advises residents to listen to the radio or visit to their website for updates.

We will actively update this page as news breaks. 

In other news: whilst all new provincial councils should have been set up by now, Penama’s isn’t. Newly elected members had not been informed of the legal date limit and so the Penama council will just be chosen on Monday 10 April. Electoral Adviser Martin Tamata was at the Saratamata meeting which decided the Monday alternative date so Penamans can be certain no other rules have been broken. That said, there were two groups camped at Ambae, one in the north comprising VP, Nagriamel, RDP, VRP and Angaitagaro. Meanwhile, NUP, People’s Unity for Development and GJP were camped in East Ambae.

Tafea Province’s new President Jeffret Kaut, while young, is not new to politics, having previously worked with deputy PM Joe Natuman.  He’s determined to make sure power in governance reaches right to the people. There were two groups angling for the presidency on Tanna, too, but not an exact mirror of the allegiances shown in Penama. Deputy PM Natuman was present and he encouraged the new president and leaders of all parties to work together.