Tropical Cyclone Harold has done an unprecedented intensification into a powerful monster tropical system. It is packing 120 knots (140 mph / 225 km/h) maximum sustained winds and 936 mbar (914 mbar per Vanuatu Met. office) central pressure. This officially puts Harold into a Category 5 system, based on the Australian/Fiji classification. That is a Category 4 equivalent tropical system based on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Harold is already affecting the westernmost islands Espiritu Santo and Malakula, and continue due east at slow speed. This will be destructive for the archipelago over the next 24-36 hours as Harold’s very slow movement across the islands will result in significant wind damage and flooding. The satellite imagery is beyond exceptional. Soon after Harold completed the EWRC (Eyewall replacement cycle), a very large eye appeared with a fully closed eyewall and almost symmetrical CDO (Central dense overcast) cloud signature. A truly remarkable monster system. This is the worst-case scenario for the Vanuatu islands, as there is basically no return now.
The full force of a violent system will blast across the country. Also, a very interesting thing happened a few hours ago – it seems that Harold’s eye began to clear soon after the outflow ‘shockwave’ pushed to the N and NW. SWE
The deadly cyclone bearing down on the Pacific nation of Vanuatu has intensified into a Category Five superstorm, generating destructive winds and "phenomenal" seas, forecasters said Monday. Tropical cyclone Harold, which claimed 27 lives when it swept through the Solomon Islands last week, strengthened overnight Sunday as it moved east, Vanuatu's meteorology service said.
It said the cyclone was now packing winds of up to 235 kilometres per hour (145 mph), prompting red alerts in the provinces of Sanma, Torba, Penama and Malampa. Officials warned residents in the nation of 300,000 to expect flash flooding and said ships should stay in port or risk facing huge swells on the high seas. Harold is forecast to pass north of the capital Port Vila early Tuesday. F24
Meanwhile, a total of five dead bodies were recovered today during the search for the 27 people missing from the MV Taimareho in West Are' are Malaita Province during heavy seas associated with Tropical Cyclone Harold early last Friday. The bodies discovered includes three female and two male. Three of the bodies have been identified but not the other two.
Commander of the Police Operation Centre (POC) at the Rove Police Headquarters in Honiara, Chief Superintendent Richard Menapi says, "The Provincial Police Commander Malaita Province, Superintendent, William Foufaka, who is taking part in the search confirmed that the five bodies have been discovered in the Maka area in South Malaita."The bodies were discovered by Auki Police, the MV Taimareho, the Police Patrol Boat Gizo and local people who have been assisting in the search."Chief Superintendent Menapi adds: "All five bodies are reported to have decomposed." "On behalf of the Acting Commissioner of Police, I would like to thank everyone who has been involved in the search for the missing 27 people so far as we try as much as possible to find the bodies so their grieving relatives can give them a proper burial," says Chief Superintendent Menapi. Arrangements are underway to send a doctor and RSIPF Forensic officers to assist in the identification of the bodies when they are discovered.
Hurricanes and Cyclones 2020
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