Tropical Cyclone Oma is forecast to hit Vanuatu from late (local time) on Wednesday, February 13, through Thursday, February 14, bringing heavy rain and high gusts. As of 23:00 on Tuesday, February 12, the center of the storm was located approximately at 13.7°S, 165.5°E, bearing maximum sustained winds of 83 km/h (52 mph), and moving eastward at 11 km/h (7 mph).
Oma is forecast to track southeastward over the coming hours and hit Espiritu Santo and Malekula with maximum sustained winds of up to 102 km/h (63 mph) and heavy rainfall overnight from Wednesday night through Thursday, before passing west of Port Vila on Friday, February 15. Consequent flooding, transportation disruptions, and power outages are possible in Vanuatu over the coming days.
Cyclone season in the region typically lasts from November to April but storms can occur outside this period.
Individuals present in Vanuatu are advised to monitor local weather reports, prepare for flooding and transportation disruptions, and follow all instructions as issued by local authorities (e.g. evacuation orders). Remember that driving or walking through running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) of running water is enough to knock over an adult - and that floodwater may contain wastewater or chemical products; all items having come into contact with the water should be disinfected and all foodstuffs discarded.
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