7 Apr 2014

People in PNG told to prepare for arrival of Cyclone Ita

7:12 pm on 7 April 2014

People living in coastal areas around Milne Bay in eastern Papua New Guinea are being told to move to higher ground as a tropical cyclone closes in.

Tropical Cyclone Ita, which is a category one storm but intensifying, is moving in a southwesterly direction to the southwest of Sudest Island - off the eastern tip of mainland PNG.

The co-ordinator of the Milne Bay provincial disaster office, Eric Balaria, says the cyclone is expected to make landfall tomorrow.

"It's expected to affect the southern part of Milne Bay. We have advised people living along the coastlines to move inland and find shelter. You know, proper shelter, safe shelter so that when it does make a landfall they're able to be safe."

Eric Balaria says thousands of people could be affected by Cyclone Ita, but the office hopes it veers south towards Australia.

Cyclone Ita developed out of the tropical low that brought massive flooding to Guadalcanal in Solomon Islands.