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Solo students safe in Vanuatu

Heavy rain with strong wind Photo by Denver Newter

SOLOMON Islands students in Vanuatu are reported safe as tropical cyclone Cook ravages the country.

Denver Newter, undergoing studies at the Australian Pacific Technical College, said almost every campus has been shut down and students advised to stay indoors for safety reasons.

This alert was given as the cyclone began building up last week Friday.

“We are safe here in Port Villa and currently our classes are temporarily shut down so we are staying indoor for the past two days.

“We have been advised to stay indoor as the cyclone is said to be intensifying.

“I want our parents back home to know that we are safe,” Mr Newter said.

He says that the weather, as of yesterday, has improved and that students should soon resume classes.

Vanuatu Met Service is observing the disturbance and yesterday was day-five since the disturbance was tracked last week.

According to the report, there is an existing Tropical Cyclone Cook in the Vanuatu area with (990 hPa) at 17.3S 167.9E which located at 17.3S 167.9E about west northwest of Efate yesterday.

According to Radio New Zealand, tropical cyclone Cook is strengthening and moving away towards New Caledonia.

Cyclone Cook is now a category-two storm with its centre about 70 kilometres west of Vanuatu’s main island, Efate, and about 100 kilometres southwest of Epi.

The cyclone is slowly moving and is forecasted to strengthen to a category-3 storm overnight as it crosses towards New Caledonia whose main island is expected to be hit tomorrow.

The Vanuatu met office says the cyclone is forecast to strengthen and have winds gusting to 130 km/h close to its centre today.

A red alert is in force for Vanuatu’s Malampa and Shefa province, with destructive winds and very rough seas expected.

The Daily Post says a report has come in that a ship has sunk off Ambrym.

Four flights between Noumea and Port Vila have been cancelled.

A pre-alert has been issued in New Caledonia for heavy rain and destructive winds.

The system is forecast to move into the Tasman Sea later in the week.

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