Tags: cyclone pam | south pacific | vanatu | fiji

Cyclone Pam in South Pacific Intensifies, Targets Vanatu, Fiji

By    |   Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 06:57 AM

Tropical Cyclone Pam is on course for the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and Fiji with landfall expected Friday as the category 4 storm continues to intensify.

The Weather Channel reported Thursday that cyclone winds had ramped up to 135 mph, and will likely reach category 5 as it heads toward Vanuatu's capital, Port Villa. That means nearly 165 mph winds for the island republic, with Fiji experiencing a less-direct blow from the storm.

"This is actually the most significant cyclone of all in terms of its size, which is very large, and its intensity," Andrew Tupper, head of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology national operations centre, told Australia's ABC news service.

"It's forecast to thread the needle between Vanuatu and Fiji as it moves south, but probably a little bit too close to Vanuatu for anybody's liking."

David Gibson, acting director of Vanuatu's meteorological department, echoed Tupper's sentiments.

"This is the first time that we will experience such cyclonic intensity if it eventuates based on the forecast track," he said.

"All preparations are underway to inform everybody about this. If the forecast track keeps further to the east, then we may get some gales, but if it changes and moves much closer, more southward, there is a possibility that we may get more damaging storms and storm-force winds for the central and southern islands."

The Vanuatu central government has issued storm warnings for the Torba, Sanma, Penama, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces.

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Tropical Cyclone Pam is on course for the South Pacific islands of Vanuatu and Fiji with landfall expected Friday as the category 4 storm continues to intensify.
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2015-57-12
Thursday, 12 Mar 2015 06:57 AM
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