Out-of-season cyclone batters Tikopia in the Solomon Islands

Report
from Agence France-Presse
Published on 06 Jun 2003
AUCKLAND, June 6 (AFP) - An out-of-season cyclone was Friday battering isolated Tikopia in the Solomon Islands, regional weather services warned.

Cyclone Gina is also threatening Vanuatu while another storm, west of Bougainville in Papua New Guinea is seen as likely to develop into a cyclone.

The official cyclone season ends in April. The Fiji Meteorological Service Friday morning said the cyclone was in a position north-east of Tikopia and was moving west-southwest toward the island and on toward Vanuatu.

It was moving at about nine kilometres per hour (five knots) and within 185 kilometres (100 nautical miles) of its centre the service was warning of winds of 46 to 56 kph (25 to 30 knots), increasing to 65 kph (35 knots) with a moderate to heavy north-easterly swell.

They warned Gina will intensify as it moves toward the north islands of Vanuatu where winds are projected to reach 185 kph (100 knots).

Late last December Cyclone Zoe slammed into Tikopia and completely isolated the island for 10 days.

About 2,000 people live on the 16 square kilometre (six square mile) volcanic island.

mjf/mfc

Copyright (c) 2003 Agence France-Presse
Received by NewsEdge Insight: 06/05/2003 17:20:32

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