23 Oct 2006

Cyclone in Solomons and Vanuatu waters intensifies

5:19 pm on 23 October 2006

A slow moving tropical cyclone in eastern Solomon Islands and northern Vanuatu has intensified.

Cyclone Xavier was located about 250 kilometres from Santa Cruz Islands in Solomons and affecting Vanuatu's Torba province.

The head of Solomon Islands Met service says it has lost communication with islands in the Temotu province.

Its director, Chanel Iroi, says cyclone warnings were issued for the eastern islands of Utupua, Vanikoro and Tikopia yesterday.

He says these islands are about 100 kilometers from the eye of the cyclone, and are now experiencing gale force winds.

"There's no communication and the National Disaster is trying to get any information in the province about damage. But when I contacted them this morning, we were unable to get information about those people over there."

The director of the Solomons Met Service, Chanel Iroi.

Meanwhile, Vanuatu's Met service says gale force winds of up to 85 kilometers per hour are affecting Torba province, and will extend to Penama and Sanma province later tonight.