22 Feb 2011

Cyclone Atu hitting southern Vanuatu islands

2:53 pm on 22 February 2011

The Met Service in Vanuatu says a cyclone alert remains in force for the southernmost islands of Aneityum and Futuna.

Cyclone Atu is located about 200 kilometers east of Aneityum, after passing by Efate, Erromango and Tanna islands without making landfall.

Forecaster David Gibson says the category four storm appears to be gathering intensity and is carrying winds of up to 165 kilometers an hour as it heads for Aneityum.

"Gale force winds over Erromango, Tanna and Aniwa, that's some of the islands over on the southern part of Vanuatu, is expected to weaken very quickly. But for Aneityum and Futuna, we're still forecasting storm force winds."

David Gibson