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.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

APCEDI Alert SP/SI Cyclone Xavier #5-2007: Cyclone Xavier Sideswipes Vanuatu

The RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre continue to issue advice on Cyclone Xavier, which is now located approximately 200 km east of Maewo and Pentecost.

Throughout the day and overnight, Cyclone Xavier continued on its southeast course, and the forecast turn to the south and west never eventuated. This is very good news for Vanuatu, as instead of being directly hit, the cyclone is now sideswiping the island chain to the east. This is causing rough seas, beach erosion and intermittent squalls especially to eastern islands and east-facing coasts, but no major damage.

Xavier is a Category 3 storm on the Saffir Simpson Scale. It is forecast to hold its strength today and then start to gradually weaken as shear intensifies and as it moves over colder waters to the south.

All residents of Northern, Central and Southern Vanuatu Islands especially Santo, Maewo, Ambae, Ambrym, Epi, the Shepherd Islands, Efate, Erromango and Tanna should continue to monitor and heed local Government alerts and listen to news broadcasts for updates. Although a rapid shift in course toward Vanuatu is unlikely, it is not impossible.

The forecast models for Cyclone Xavier continue to be very mixed and contradictory at the moment with rather weak steering currents. Most still predict a southerly turn which could bring the cyclone closer to some of the central and southern Vanuatu islands. The longer term forecast shows a slight turn east, which should be monitored closely by interests in Fiji and Tonga. Hopefully the storm can exit into Southern Ocean between Vanuatu and Fiji causing little harm to either.

All of Vanuatu should remain on a Cyclone Watch, with a Cyclone Warning from Maewo to Efate for all eastern islands. All concerns in Vanuatu should monitor and heed local Government alerts and listen to news broadcasts for updates.

Fiji and Tonga authorities should also be on alert once the cyclone clears Vanuatu. Rough seas should increase in western areas of Fiji throughout today. 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.



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

From the RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre

Special Advisory Number ELEVEN for Vanuatu on TC XAVIER issued from RSMC NADI
Oct 24/1342 UTC 2006 UTC.

Tropical Cyclone Xavier 01F [930hPa] centre was located near 14.4 South 170.1 East at 241200 UTC. Position fair based on MTSAT EIR imagery with animation. Cyclone moving southeast at about 8 knots but expected to gradually curve south. Maximum 10-minute average winds near the centre estimated at about 95 knots.

Organisation steady. Cold onvective tops persisting despite some warming in recent imageries. Cloud-filled eye prevails. Outflow good to south but limited elsewhere. Significance of shear increasing. Dvorak analysis based on B eye embedded in W surround gives a DT=5.0, MET=6.0, PT=5.5, thus T5.0/6.0/D0.5/24hrs. SST around 29C. Cyclone
moving southeast under upper northwest flow but expected to gradually turn south under a northeast steering field. Global models generally agree on a gradual curvature towards the south with gradual weakening.

12hrs valid at 250000 UTC near 16.0S 170.5E mov SE 08kt with 95kt close to centre.
24hrs valid at 251200 UTC near 17.2S 169.9E mov S 07kt with 90kt close to centre.

36hrs valid at 260000 UTC near 17.9S 169.4E mov S 06kt with 90kt close to centre.
48hrs valid at 261200 UTC near 18.7S 168.2E mov SSW 06kt with 80kt close to centre.

On its current track the cyclone may cause damaging gale force winds or stronger during the next 24 to 48 hours over Pentecost, Ambrym, Epi, Espiritu Santo, Gaua [Santa Maria], Aoba, Malekula, Maewo, Efate, Shepherd Group, Eromango, Tanna and nearby smaller islands. Rain occasionally heavy and squally thunderstorms. Damaging heavy swells. Flooding including sea flooding of low-lying coastal areas expected.

The next Special Advisory for Vanuatu on Tropical Cyclone Xavier will be issued around 242000 UTC.


APCEDI will continue to issue further bulletins on Cyclone Xavier.

Kevin Vang
APCEDI Coordinator

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