Breaking News: Tropical Cyclone Lola Threatens Vanuatu with Record-breaking Intensity

Breaking News - 90 Kiwis at risk


Reports indicate that at least 90 New Zealanders, along with countless locals in Vanuatu, are bracing themselves for the cyclone’s onslaught. Among them are members of the Volunteer Service Abroad (VSA) agency, who, via a satellite phone, have managed to establish communication with the New Zealand High Commission. They remain on high alert as the situation unfolds. New Zealand is expected to evade the direct impact of Cyclone Lola, residual effects might still be felt later in the week. The cyclone is anticipated to make landfall in Vanuatu within the next 24 hours, specifically targeting the provinces of Torba, Sanma, Penama, and Malampa. The storm’s center is currently experiencing winds of approximately 320km/h, a force that surpasses the strongest gusts recorded during Cyclone Gabrielle earlier this year, which wreaked havoc with winds reaching 130km/h and stripping entire forests.

Meteorological experts are sounding alarm bells, emphasizing that Cyclone Lola is a “worst-case scenario” for Vanuatu. Not only is it a Category 5 cyclone, but its slow movement, at a mere 8km/h—roughly the speed of a human walking—significantly heightens the risks of widespread damage. WeatherWatch NZ, the weather forecasting agency, highlighted the grave concern, stating, “This slow movement increases the risks of damage.”

This unfortunate event marks the fourth tropical cyclone to strike Vanuatu this year, following the onslaught of Cyclone Irene in mid-January and the twin cyclones Kevin and Judy at the beginning of March. As the nation braces for the impact, the international community stands in solidarity, hoping for the safety and well-being of all those affected. Stay tuned for further updates on this evolving situation.

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