[Updated] Arrival of Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna imminent: Torba province now on Red Alert

Latest composite satellite image of Cyclone Donna from Japan Meteorological Agency/US NOAA

Latest composite satellite image of Cyclone Donna from Japan Meteorological Agency/US NOAA

[Updated 9:30pm 4/5] Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna (Category 3) is currently 170km NE of the Torres Islands, 175km N of Vanua Lava and tracking WNW at 12km/h. It is predicted to make first landfall in northern Vanuatu as a Category 3 system tomorrow morning, May 5.

A Red Alert has been issued for Torba Province by the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department. A Yellow Alert is current for Sanma and Penama provinces and a Blue Alert for Malampa province. Flash flooding and phenomenal seas with waves over 10m are expected in Vanuatu waters as Cyclone Donna approaches. Wind speeds in a Category 3 cyclone range between 165 and 224km/h.

The GFS model forecast suggests that Cyclone Donna may make a sharp turn southward within 24-48hrs towards Vanuatu’s central and southern islands, following Vanuatu’s ‘cyclone alley’ — although this could change.

Cyclone Donna is the second tropical cyclone to form in Vanuatu the space of a month, following Cyclone Cook in early April. Vanuatu’s official cyclone season ended on April 30.

We urge our readers to start preparing well ahead of the cyclone’s arrival, and keep visiting Vanuatu Digest for updates.

Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department has a new website just in time for Cyclone Donna, and VMGD’s cyclone warnings can be found on this page, the cyclone tracking map here, or you can listen to Radio Vanuatu’s frequent updates.

The latest cyclone warning (#10) from VMDG is as follows:

Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 10 for TORBA, PENAMA, SANMA and MALAMPA.

Tropical Cyclone Warning Number 10 issued by the Vanuatu Meteorology and
Geo-Hazards Department, Port Vila at 9:05pm VUT Thursday 4 May 2017 for

At 8:00pm local time today, Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna (Cat 3) was located at
12.3 degrees South 167.8 degrees East.The system is positioned at the
top right corner of square letter G, number 2 (G,2) of the Vanuatu tropical cyclone
tracking Map. This is about 170 KM northeast of Torres and
175 KM north of Vanua Lava. The system is moving in a west northwest direction
at 12 KM/HR in the past 3 hours.

The central pressure of the system is estimated at 966 hPa.  Winds close to the
centre are estimated at 130 KM/HR , gusting to 190 KM/HR. Severe Tropical Cyclone 
Donna is forecasted to be at 12.8 degrees South 166.9 degrees East within the next 
06 to 12 hours.

Very destructive hurricane force winds of 130 KM/HR gusting to 190 KM/HR will affect
TORBA and PENAMA in the next 12 hours. 

Destructive storm force winds of 95 KM/HR gusting to 135 KM/HR will affect
SANMA and MALAMPA in the next 12 to 24 hours.

Forecast Positions
Date and Time                       Position                  Intensity
+06 hours (2am, 5 May)            12.5S, 167.3E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)
+12 hours (8am, 5 May)            12.8S, 166.9E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)
+18 hours (2pm, 5 May)            13.1S, 166.5E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)
+24 hours (8pm, 5 May)            13.4S, 166.2E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)
+36 hours (8am, 6 May)            14.1S, 165.7E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)
+48 hours (8pm, 6 May)            14.7S, 165.7E            80 KTS (150 KM/HR)

Very destructive winds and very rough to phenomenal seas with heavy swells will
affect TORBA, PENAMA, SANMA and MALAMPA. Heavy rainfall and flash flooding is
also expected over low lying areas and areas close to river banks. Coastal
flooding is also expected.

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) advises people, that
Red Alert is now current for TORBA province, Yellow Alert is now current for PENAMA 
and Sanma provinces, while Blue alert is now current for MALAMPA provinces. 
For actions on this alerts,call the office of the NDMO on 22699 or 33366.

The next warning on Severe Tropical Cyclone Donna will be issued at 12:00am. People 
over  TORBA, PENAMA, SANMA and MALAMPA and SHEFA and TAFEA should listen to all Radio 
Outlets to get the latest information on this system.

This warning is also available on VMGD's website www.vmgd.gov.vu