29 Jan 2003

Cyclone Beni intensfies but still off New Caledonia and Vanuatu

5:33 pm on 29 January 2003

The Vanuatu Meteorological Service says tropical cyclone Beni is off to the country's west but is expected to affect central islands over the next day or two.

It says on its current track the cyclone will bring strong winds to Sanma, Malampa, Shefa and Tafea provinces.

The forecasters say cyclone Beni has intensified, with winds close to its centre at about 180 kilometres an hour.

Heavy rain will continue to affect Vanuatu and may cause rivers to overflow their banks and flood low-lying areas.