·

Tropical Cyclone “Harold” leaves 28 missing in Solomon Islands, set to make landfall over Vanuatu

tropical-cyclone-harold-leaves-28-missing-in-solomon-islands-set-to-make-landfall-over-vanuatu

Tropical Cyclone "Harold" remains active over the Solomon Sea after it made landfall over the San Cristobal Island on April 2, 2020. Following this, about 28 people aboard a ferry went missing due to rough seas. Harold is the 8th named storm of the 2019/20 South Pacific tropical cyclone season.

As of 13:00 UTC on Friday, April 3 (00:00 LT on April 4), the storm was located about 390 km (242 miles) west of Torres and 450 km (280 miles) west-northwest of Santo. The storm was moving in a southeasterly direction at 19 km/h (12 mph), with winds near the center estimated at 74 km/h (45 mph). It is expected to track directly to Vanuatu by Monday, April 6.

On Friday morning, maritime authorities confirmed that 28 people went missing after being washed from a ferry amid rough seas in the Solomon Islands.

The passenger vessel, MV Taimareho, was traveling back in a charter organized by the local MP as part of COVID-19 contingency measures, which are seeing people evacuated back to their villages.

A rescue boat was deployed for search operations, but efforts were hindered by limited sources due to the pandemic crisis. The country's rescue helicopter could not fly as well as the pilot is in quarantine.

Residents have started assessing the damage caused by the cyclone. Meanwhile, the National Disaster Council warned citizens to seek safer areas following reports of families being trapped in their homes as rivers and streams burst.

cyclone-harold-april-3-2020-2

Image credit: Solomon Islands Disaster Management Office

According to the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department (VMGD), Harold is expected to extend closer to Vanuatu's northern provinces of Torba and Sanma on Saturday, April 4, with winds of 74 km/h (45 mph), gusting to 105 km/h (65 mph).

A severe weather warning is in effect for the Vanuatu group. A high seas wind warning has also been issued for open waters west of the provinces.

Fiji Met warned that by Monday, April 6, the storm is likely to track directly to Vanuatu and be exceptionally near the capital Port Villa as a Category 3 tropical cyclone.

"After Vanuatu, cyclone Harold will likely track over waters South of Fiji mid-next week but it will be well away from Fiji’s mainland."

Tropical Cyclone "Harold" at 20:20 UTC on April 3, 2020. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

Featured image credit: Solomon Islands Disaster Management Office

If you value what we do here, create your ad-free account and support our journalism.

Share:

Related articles



Your support makes a difference

Dear valued reader,

We hope that our website has been a valuable resource for you.

The reality is that it takes a lot of time, effort, and resources to maintain and grow this website. We rely on the support of readers like you to keep providing high-quality content.

If you have found our website to be helpful, please consider making a contribution to help us continue to bring you the information you need. Your support means the world to us and helps us to keep doing what we love.

Support us by choosing your support level – Silver, Gold or Platinum. Other support options include Patreon pledges and sending us a one-off payment using PayPal.

Thank you for your consideration. Your support is greatly appreciated.

Sincerely,
Teo Blašković

$5 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$50 /year

$10 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$100 /year

$25 /month

  • Ad-free account
  • Clean user interface and fast browsing
  • Direct communication with us via chat and email
  • Suggest new features, content and applications
  • Early access to new apps and features

$200 /year

You can also support us on Patreon

support us on patreon

or by sending us a one-off payment using PayPal:


Commenting rules and guidelines

We value the thoughts and opinions of our readers and welcome healthy discussions on our website. In order to maintain a respectful and positive community, we ask that all commenters follow these rules:

  • Treat others with kindness and respect.
  • Stay on topic and contribute to the conversation in a meaningful way.
  • Do not use abusive or hateful language.
  • Do not spam or promote unrelated products or services.
  • Do not post any personal information or content that is illegal, obscene, or otherwise inappropriate.

We reserve the right to remove any comments that violate these rules. By commenting on our website, you agree to abide by these guidelines. Thank you for helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for all.

One Comment

  1. This one had a little “Hand of Man”in it like the Bahamas did. you can see the particulate matter inserted in the above photo’s. once you begin to see them, you can never un-see”” them! Tragic, appalling. “Harold” at 20:20 UTC on April 3, 2020. Credit: JMA/Himawari-8, RAMMB/CIRA

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *