Posts Tagged ‘Coral Sea’

7.1 earthquake strikes near Vanuatu

May 10, 2011 Comments off


7.1-magnitude earthquake hits off Vanuatu

A strong 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific islands of Vanuatu and New Caledonia On Tuesday, the US Geological Survey said, but there were no immediate reports of damage and a local official said that a tsunami was not expected.

The quake’s epicentre was 136 km southwest of Isangel in Vanuatu and 147 km north-east of Tadine, in the Loyalty Islands, New Caledonia, the USGS said in a bulletin. The quake was 26 km deep.

“Based on all of the local analytical data, a tsunami is not expected within Vanuatu,” an official for the Vanuatu Meteorological Services told Reuters by telephone from the capital, Port Vila.

A receptionist at a hotel in Ouvea in the Loyalty Islands said there was no immediate sign of damage.

“It was not a particularly strong tremor but we definitely felt it. There was no breakage, no damage,” the receptionist at the Hotel Paradis d’Ouvea said.

A large contingent of New Zealand Defence Force personnel are on Espiritu Santo, near the earthquake’s epicentre.

The Navy’s multirole ship HMNZS Canterbury is in the region serving in the “Pacific Partnership” civil aid operation.

It has been at the port of Luganville with the amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland, the Australian heavy landing craft  HMAS Balikpapan and HMAS Betano.

New Zealand Army personnel are also with the mission.

There have been no reports of injury from the New Zealanders.

Australia Cyclone Yasi upgraded to Category 5

February 1, 2011 Comments off

Ian Hitchcock  /  Getty Images

Store windows throughout Townsville, located on Australia’s Queensland coast, were boarded up ahead of Cyclone Yasi.

CAIRNS, Australia — A powerful cyclone bearing down on Australia was upgraded to a maximum-strength Category 5 storm, with the likelihood of serious damage and risk to life.

“This is the most severe, most catastrophic storm that has ever hit our coast,” Anna Bligh, premier of Queensland State, told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. “We’ve seen a number of worst case scenarios come together.”

“This impact is likely to be more life threatening than any experienced during recent generations,” Queensland disaster officials added in an updated warning.

Yasi is expected to make landfall overnight on the Queensland coast between Cairns and Innisfail. Read more…

Tropical Cyclone Yasi Headed Toward Queensland, Australia

January 31, 2011 Comments off

NASA's Terra satellite captured an image of Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in Australia/Brisbane local time). Although the image did not reveal a visible eye, the storm appears to be well-formed and also appears to be strengthening. Credit: NASA Goddard / MODIS Rapid Response Team

Tropical Storm Anthony made landfall in Queensland, Australia this past weekend, and now the residents are watching a larger, more powerful cyclone headed their way. NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of the large Tropical Cyclone Yasi late yesterday as it makes its way west through the Coral Sea toward Queensland.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured an image of Cyclone Yasi on Jan. 30 at 23:20 UTC (6:20 p.m. EST/09:20 a.m., Monday, January 31 in Australia/Brisbane local time). Although the image did not reveal a visible eye, the storm appears to be well-formed and also appears to be strengthening.

Warnings and watches are already in effect throughout the Coral Sea. The Solomon Islands currently have a Tropical Cyclone warning for Read more…

Powerful Tropical Cyclones Descend On Australia

January 26, 2011 Comments off


Tropical Cyclone Bianca continues to develop as it moves quickly to the west southwest over open waters west of Broome. The cyclone is expected to intensify further as it moves parallel to the Pilbara coast today and on Thursday.

Gales are expected for a period between Wallal and Whim Creek this afternoon, extending to Karratha late this afternoon or this evening and to Onslow and Exmouth during Thursday morning. DESTRUCTIVE WINDS with gusts to 160 kilometres per hour are possible between Whim Creek and Mardie later today, moving further west overnight.

Heavy rain is expected in coastal parts between Wallal and Karratha during this afternoon, extending further west overnight. Localised stream rises are likely but widespread flooding is not expected.

Residents of Pilbara coastal communities west of Whim Creek, including Wickham, Karratha, Dampier, Onslow and Exmouth are warned of the potential for a DANGEROUS STORM TIDE. Tides may rise significantly above the normal high tide mark with DAMAGING WAVES and DANGEROUS COASTAL FLOODING.

Ex-Tropical Cyclone Anthony is situated over the eastern Coral Sea and is slow moving. The system is forecast to develop a west northwesterly track tonight and into Wednesday while remaining below tropical cyclone strength.

A CYCLONE WATCH IS IN FORCE FOR NORFOLK ISLAND TROPICAL CYCLONE WILMA (CATEGORY 4) WAS CENTRED NEAR 23 South 176 East at 1730 NFT on 26-Jan-2011 or about 900 kilometres northeast of Norfolk Island. WILMA is moving west-southwest 16 knots but is expected to slow down and pass near Norfolk Island on Friday as it turns towards the south. There is the potential for heavy rain and winds of gale force or stronger to develop on Friday. As there is still uncertainty about the exact track and timing people are advised to keep up to date with weather forecasts.