Tropical cyclone warning for New Caledonia and Vanuatu

29 Jan 2018

Tropical Cyclone 8P has maintained its strength as it moves south-southeast in the Coral Sea, Jan. 29. As of 0500, the system's center of circulation was approximately 644 km (400 miles) northwest of Noumea, New Caledonia. Models indicate the cyclone will continue to maintain its strength as it tracks south-southeast. Though the storm is not projected to make landfall on New Caledonia, it will pass close to the west coast of Grande Terre Island late Jan. 29. Projections suggest that the system will strengthen and continue in a southerly direction by Jan. 31. The storm could approach western New Zealand from Feb. 1. However, the cyclone's forecast path and intensity could change in the coming days. 

The cyclone will probably bring heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts to New Caledonia and Vanuatu. Meteo France has already issued orange warnings, the second-highest level on a four-level scale, for heavy rainfall in 18 communes in western and northern Grande Terre; yellow warnings are in place for the rest of the island. Flooding is possible in low-lying areas or along river banks and coasts. Flash flooding is also likely and may lead to road closures. Wind gusts of up to 100 kph (62 mph) are possible in northern New Caledonia through Jan. 29; similar conditions are likely in western communes as the cyclone passes the island Jan.29-30. 

The cyclone is likely to cause some transport and commercial disruptions. Flight disruptions may occur at airports in New Caledonia, including at La Tontouta International Airport (NOU) in Noumea. Some flight delays and cancellations are possible at airports in central and southern Vanuatu, including Port Vila's Bauerfield International Airport (VLI). Port restrictions are likely in New Caledonia as the system approaches; winds could disrupt cargo handling. Authorities may also suspend ferry services. Powerful gusts could down trees and power lines in central and southern Vanuatu; power outages are possible. 

Further assistance

If you require emergency assistance while travelling, please contact Chubb Insurance Assistance. The contact details are listed below:

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Chubb Assistance phone +61 2 8907 5995 and quote UQ policy number 01PP529201. Reverse phone charge is available.

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