2 Jan 2013

Freda downgraded as it nears New Caledonia's west coast

11:21 am on 2 January 2013

Tropical Cyclone Freda has continued to weaken and is now classified as a depression.

An orange alert is still in force for New Caledonia's Belep island in the north as the system was about 130 kilometres to its west.

The metservice says at its centre, the cyclone has dropped its sustained wind strength to about 75 kilometres an hour.

The storm is forecast to move at about 15 kilometres an hour in a south-easterly direction.

By late today, the storm is expected to be about 40 kilometres off the town of Koumac.