Last Updated: Friday, March 13, 2015

Tropical Cyclone Pam slams Vanuatu – Red alert issued


The National Disaster Management Office in Vanuatu has activated all emergency operation centers in the country following a Severe Tropical Cyclone Pam.

"Tropical Cyclone Pam is likely to become the most devastating cyclone since Cyclone Uma in 1987," the Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office acting director Peter Korisa said Radio New Zealand. 

The Vanuatu Meteorological Services (VMS) said that at 18:00 local time (05:00 GMT), Pam was 105 km north-northeast of Port Vila. The storm's winds are equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane.

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Cyclone Pam Forecast Path (Weather Underground)
"There were unconfirmed reports of deaths in Vanuatu's northeastern islands after Cyclone Pam moved off its expected track," USA Today has written quoting the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Tropical Cyclone Pam will likely be one of the worst natural disasters in the island chain's history, according to Weather Channel meteorologist Jon Erdman.

The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office has issued a red alert to its residents, urging them to take shelter from Pam. Tropical Cylone Pam has already destroyed some homes and caused damage to other Pacific islands, including Kiribati, Tuvalu and the Solomon Islands.

Tropical Cyclone Pam impacts have also been observed in Malaita, Makira and Temotu provinces of Solomon Islands as they are experiencing heavy rainfall with gale force winds of more than 80 kilometres an hour. Similarly, New Caledonia's civil defence organisation has also issued a cyclone pre-alert.