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Oma lashes New Caledonia’s far north

Article – RNZ

Cyclone Oma is continuing to lash New Caledonia’s far north.Cyclone Oma is continuing to lash New Caledonia’s far north.

Cyclone Oma tracking map – Feb 19 2pm (local time) Photo: Météo et climat

The storm has cut electricity to nearly 3000 homes, downed trees and flooded roads as it nears the territory.

At 10am New Caledonia time it was situated at 19.5 degrees south, 162.6 degrees east about 110km west of Belep.

Oma is moving south westwards at 15km/h.

New Caledonia’s weather service said gusts of up to 140km/h had been recorded at Belep and Poingam

Oma is expected to strengthen slightly as it moves away from the territory.

New Caledonia Gendarmerie stand near the water while very strong wind blows palm trees

Cyclone Oma lashing New Caledonia at Poum Photo: Facebook/ Gendarmerie de Nouvelle-Calédonie

Heavy rain and strong winds of up to 150km/h in the far north are expected.

In the south 100km/h gusts are forecast.

Oma has delayed the return to school in North Province until Thursday.

Civil defence authorities have placed the far north on alert level two which advises people to stay off the roads and take shelter.

The rest of the of the territory is on pre-alert.

Earlier, the Civil Security department said a child was injured by loose sheet metal in the town of Pouébo, but did not require evacuation to hospital.

The French met service said Tropical Cyclone Oma had become a depression, but the Fiji and New Zealand met services say the system is still a cyclone.

Oma caused damage in Vanuatu’s northern provinces and the south of Solomon Islands over the weekend.

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