Red alert issued for Tafea Province as Cyclone Ula nears

Cyclone Ula satellite animation from wunderground.com

Cyclone Ula satellite animation from wunderground.com

A Red Alert for Cyclone Ula is in effect for the south of Tafea Province, according to the latest advisory from Vanuatu Meteorological Services’ Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre issued at 8:54pm Sunday 10/1.

Update 8:30am VUT 11/1/2015: The NDMO has given the All Clear for Tafea Province. As the cyclone is slowly moving away from Vanuatu waters, this will be the final update on Severe Tropical Cyclone Ula unless the cyclone turns back.

Residents of the affected parts of Tafea province are advised to take shelter from the cyclone immediately.

Overnight, heavy rain and flooding in low-lying coastal areas and riverbanks are expected in the affected areas, along with very rough to phenomenal seas with heavy swells.

Winds at the centre are currently at 175km/hr and intensifying. Damaging strong to gale force 65–75km/hr winds will continue to affect Aneityum, Futuna and south Tanna overnight. The eye of the cyclone is not expected to pass over any islands in Vanuatu at this time. The cyclone is currently moving away from Vanuatu in a southwesterly direction.

Cyclone Ula is a Category 4 severe tropical cyclone currently located at the bottom centre of J10 on the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map (shown below), or about 95km southeast of Aneityum and 190km southeast of Tanna.

Tropical Cyclone Forecast Track Map Number 16 issued at 9:07 pm VUT Sunday 10 January 2016