TC Rita

Former Cyclone Rita now a Tropical Low

Earlier this morning, Rita had 55km/h maximum sustained winds and was 180km east of Maewo.

The system is drifting west-southwest towards Maewo and Pentecost Islands in northern Vanuatu.

Depite the downgrade, Rita may still generate strong winds, heavy rainfall and rough seas for these areas over the next 24-48 hours.


Cyclone Rita downgraded to category 2

Overnight the cyclone became a category three storm, with sustained winds of 130km/hr, gusting up to 160km/hr.

However, those winds have decreased to 95km/hr with gusts of up to 130km/hr.

A short time ago, Cyclone Rita was 255km east-northeast of Vanuatu's Gaua island.

Vanuatu Metservice manager Fred Jockley said conditions in the area were still conducive for cyclone strengthening so communities were still being warned to stay alert.

Category 3 Cyclone Rita further strengthens

At 5am (local time), Severe Tropical Cyclone Rita located about 270km east of Sola and 270km northeast of Maewo in Vanuatu.

The cyclone has moved in a south southwesterly direction at a speed of 15km/hr (8knots).

The National Disaster Management Office in Port Vila has issued a Red Alert for Torba and a Yellow Alert for Penama and Sanma provinces.

People have been advised not to go out on the water as very rough to phenomenal seas are expected over northern waters.