23 Oct 2006

Tropical Cyclone Xavier threatening north of Vanuatu

6:33 am on 23 October 2006

A tropical cyclone is threatening the islands in the north of Vanuatu.

Tropical cyclone Xavier developed south of the Solomons and on its current track is expected to cause damaging gale force winds to hit the Torres and Banks Islands in the next 24 to 48 hours.

Frequent heavy rain and squally thunderstorms have also been predicted.

Fiji's Meteorological Service says coastal areas of these Vanuatu islands should expect sea flooding.

The latest forecasts says Cyclone Xavier is intensifying and moving in a west-southwest direction.

Winds of up to a hundred kilometres an hour are expected to increase to over a hundred and ten kilometres an hour in the next few hours.