This is the first OCHA Flash Update on Tropical Cyclone Lusi (Category 1) located approximately 60 km northeast of Santo and 90 km south-southwest of the Banks Islands. The system is moving at 10 km/h in a south-southeast direction with winds estimated at 85 km/h near its centre.
The cyclone is forecast to intensify to a Category 2 system early tomorrow morning. See TC Lusi track map.
The Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office has activated its Emergency Operations Centre and has issued cyclone warnings for Torba (population 9359), Sanma (45,855), Penama (30,819) and Malampa (36,727) Provinces. The cyclone is expected to cause damaging gale force winds and very rough seas with heavy swells. Heavy rainfall and flooding is expected in low-lying areas and areas close to river banks. People are being urged to listen to radio broadcasts and check meteorological service websites for updates.
The Solomon Islands Government has also issued cyclone watch advisories for Temotu, Makira, Rennell and Bellona, Southern Guadalcanal and Malaita Provinces.
After tracking away from Vanuatu tomorrow afternoon, the cyclone is expected to continue in a southeast direction and pass 300 to 400 km southwest of Fiji on Wednesday 12 March, bringing heavy rain to Western and Northern Divisions.
The next update will be issued as new information becomes available.
Further information about the cyclone is available from the following websites: Vanuatu Meteorological Service cyclone warning, track map and Solomon Islands Meteorological Service Fiji Meteorological Service.