Tropical Cyclone Oma is forecast to bring severe weather, including strong winds and heavy rain, to Vanuatu and New Caledonia from Saturday, February 16, to Tuesday, February 19. The cyclone is currently producing sustained winds of 110 km/h (69 mph) and forecast to strengthen to a Category 2 Atlantic hurricane-equivalent in the coming days. Telecommunication and power disruptions are likely on northwestern Grand Terre (New Caledonia), including the towns of Poum and Tiabet, beginning Monday. Strong waves and a high storm surge are expected along with rainfall of around 7.6-15 cm (3-6 in) and up to 25 cm (10 in) in some areas. Flooding and associated disruptions are possible.
Cyclone season in the region typically lasts from November to April but storms can occur outside this period.
Individuals in the abovementioned areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, anticipate adverse weather, flooding, and disruptions to transportation, power, and telecommunications, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities. 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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