AFAP manages the Australian-Pacific Centre for Emergency and Disaster Information (APCEDI) to provide news on natural disaster events in the Asia-Pacific region and to help with rapid disaster response assessment. This was originally a communications network that was activated during a disaster to disseminate information to our Asia-Pacific NGO offices. Now APCEDI has a much wider application across the Asia-Pacific Region.

Monday, October 23, 2006

APCEDI Alert SP/SI Cyclone Xavier #3-2007: Cyclone Xavier Batters Tikopia, Threatens Banks and Torres Islands

The RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre continue to issue advice on Cyclone Xavier now located about 20 km northwest of Tikopia, Temotu Province, Solomon Islands.

Throughout the day, Cyclone Xavier has slowly wandered slightly east of southwards between Vanikolo and Tikopia Islands. When it was about 120 km east of Vanikolo, it underwent some intense strengthening and formed a clear eye feature. However, this strengthening has again levelled off with the entrainment of dry air, and the eye has become cloud-filled.

Cyclone Xavier is now a borderline Category 1-2 Cyclone on the Saffir Simpson Scale. It could further strengthen into a stronger Category 2 storm tonight as it passes over Tikopia and heads for the Banks Islands in Northern Vanuatu. At the last report, it had increased its forward speed from 4 to 9 knots.

All residents of Tikopia and Northern Vanuatu Islands especially the Torres and Banks Islands, Santi, Maewo and Ambae should rush cyclone preparations to completion, monitor and heed local Government alerts and listen to news broadcasts for updates.

The forecast models for Cyclone Xavier continue to be very mixed and contradictory at the moment with rather weak steering currents. Data has indicated a westward turn for nearly 12 hours, but that has not occurred yet bringing increasing risk eastward to Tikopia and Northeastern Vanuatu. Until the western turn eventuates, it will be hard to determine its path across Northern Vanuatu. More recent models showing it passing over the Banks Islands and into Northern Santo tomorrow as a medium to strong Category 2 Storm.

All of Vanuatu should remain on a Cyclone Watch, with a Cyclone Warning for all Northern Islands, north of Epi and the Shepherd Islands. All concerns in Vanuatu should monitor and heed local Government alerts and listen to news broadcasts for updates.

Although the Cyclone is now moving away from the Solomon Islands and the Santa Cruz Group, authorities should remain on alert as the forecast track is still far from clear. Xavier will continue to generate rough seas for Temotu Province, Rennell and Bellona, and for the weather coasts of Makira and Guadalcanal. All interests in the area should monitor and heed local Government alerts and listen to news broadcasts for updates as any northward chance in track could threaten these areas. Early season storms are notoriously Very rough seas will be present throughout the area for the next few days.



Cyclone Warning for Tikopia, Temotu Province.
Maritime Warning for Rough Seas for Temotu, Rennell and Bellona, Guadalcanal Weather Coast and Makira Weather Coast


Special Advisory/ Cyclone Warning for Torres and Banks Islands, Espirito Santo, Maewo, Ambae, Pentecost, Malakula, Ambrym, Epi and the Shepherd Islands and all surrounding smaller islands.
Special Advisory/ Cyclone Watch for all remaining areas of Vanuatu.
Maritime Warning for all of Vanuatu.

From the RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre

Special Advisory Number FIVE for Vanuatu on TC XAVIER issued from, RSMC NADI
Oct 23/0141 UTC 2006 UTC.

Tropical Cyclone Xavier 01F [960hPa] centre was located near 11.5 South 168.0 East at 230000 UTC. Position good based on MTSAT EIR/VIS imagery with animation. Cyclone intensifying. Cyclone moving south southeast at about 5 knots but expected curve southwest. Maximum 10-minute average winds near the centre estimated at about 75 knots, increasing to 85 knots in the next 6 to 12 hours.

Cloud filled eye has appeared in the last 6 hours with convective bands tightly wrapped around centre. Outflow good in all quadrants. Xavier is located in a low-shear environment. Dvorak analysis based on off-white eye embedded in black gives a DT of 4.5. MET =4.5 and PT=5.0, thus T4.5/4.5/D1.5/24hrs. SST around 29 to 30C. Cyclone is expected to drift southwest nudged by a weak mid-level ridge to the east. Global models generally agree on a west or southwest track with further intensification.

12hrs valid at 231200 UTC near 12.1S 167.4E mov SW 04kt with 85kt close to centre. 24hrs valid at 240000 UTC near 12.5S 166.8E mov SW 04kt with 95kt close to centre.

36hrs valid at 241200 UTC near 12.6S 166.2E mov WSW 03kt with 100kt close to centre.
48hrs valid at 250000 UTC near 13.2S 165.6E mov SW 04kt with 100kt close to centre.

On its current track the cyclone is expected to cause damaging gale force winds during the next 24 to 48 hours over the Torres and Banks Islands. If Xavier continues on a more southwest track, then northern parts of Espiritu Santo and Maewo are likely to experience damaging gale force winds in the next 24 to 48 hours. Expect frequent heavy rain and squally thunderstorms. Damaging heavy swells. Flooding including sea flooding of coastal areas of these islands.

The next Special Advisory for Vanuatu on Tropical Cyclone Xavier will be issued around 230800 UTC.


APCEDI will continue to issue further bulletins on Cyclone Xavier.

Kevin Vang
APCEDI Coordinator

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