7 Apr 2020

Monster Cyclone Harold wreaks havoc in Vanuatu

9:51 am on 7 April 2020

There's been no communication from the Vanuatu islands hardest hit by the powerful Tropical Cyclone Harold

Tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Harold

Tracking map for Tropical Cyclone Harold Photo: Fiji Meteorological Service

The Category 5 storm made landfall on the Vanuatu island of Santo yesterday with destructive winds as high as 235km/h.

The cyclone passed directly over Santo and hundreds of people are sheltering in evacuation centres.

In Luganville, a town of 16,000 people, roofs have been blown off houses, trees snapped, and the council building has been destroyed.

Overnight, Tropical Cyclone Harold showed no sign of weakening as it moved across Vanuatu.

One telecommunications provider, Vodafone, said there was a general network outage in Banks, Santo, Malekula and Pentecost.

Fiji issues cyclone alert for category 5 Harold

Fiji's Yasawa and Mamanuca group, Viti Levu, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands, Lomaiviti and Southern Lau group are now on cyclone alert.

Tropical Cyclone Harold is expected to cross into Fiji waters on Wednesday as a Category 4 system.

Fiji's Meteorological Service warned of hurricane force winds and heavy rainful which will lead to severe flooding.