11 Mar 2013

Tropical Cyclone alert in place for New Caledonia's north

8:10 pm on 11 March 2013

A tropical cyclone alert is now in force for the northenmost parts of New Caledonia as Cyclone Sandra edges near the French territory.

Cyclone Sandra is nearing the northern islands of Belep where the alert is in force, as well as in Poum, in the north of New Caledonia's main island.

According to Meteo France, the system's centre is expected to track about 120 kilometres to the west of Belep overnight.

Meanwhile, a pre-alert is in place for the rest of New Caledonia regarding Cyclone Sandra.

It has sustained winds of 180 kilometres an hour close to its centre, with gusts of up to 260 kilometres an hour.

It is forecast to move slowly in a south-easterly direction, parallel to the main island's west coast, and weaken.