Cyclone tracker MAPPED: Satellite images shows SWIRLING cyclones Oma and Gelena ROAR


Satellite images shows two tropical cyclones hurling in the southern hemisphere on Wednesday. Tropical cyclones, also called typhoons or hurricanes, are intense circular storms that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterised by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain. Tropical cyclone Gelena is currently located in the Southern Indian Ocean while tropical cyclone Oma is moving southwards in the Southern Pacific Ocean.

Tropical Cyclone Oma was upgraded to a Category 2 system by Vanuatu’s Meteorological Service on Tuesday as it continues to affect the tiny island nation of Vanuatu.

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center (JTWC) noted on February 13 at 4am EDT (9am GMT) Oma is now about 300 miles northwest of Port Vila, Vanuatu.

Maximum sustained winds were near 52 mph and the weather system was moving west-southwest.

The number of provinces predicted to bear the brunt of the tropical cyclone has also been extended and includes Torba, Sanma, Penma and Malampa which have been placed on red alert by the National Disaster Office.

Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) said: “Heavy rainfalls and flash flooding over low lying areas and areas close to the river banks, including coastal flooding will continue to affect Torba, Sanma and Malampa provinces tonight.

“Seas will be very rough to phenomenal with heavy and phenomenal swells expected.”

Oma is expected to strengthen on Thursday as it starts moving south and heads towards New Caledonia.

Meanwhile, the remnants of tropical cyclone Gelena, which devastated The Mauritian island of Rodriques over the weekend is churning at 63mph.

JTWC has forecast Gelena to continue moving southeastward and weakening to dissipation in about two days.

On Wednesday, images from NASA’s Terra satellite showed a weaker Gelena far from land areas, and in the middle of the Southern Indian Ocean.

The storm is currently located approximately 790 miles east-southeast of Port Louis, Mauritius and is moving at a speed of 12.5mph.

The image showed bands of thunderstorms spiralling into a cloud-filled circulation with the bulk as it was pushed eastward from westerly winds.

At its peak, Gelena was packing maximum sustained winds of 109mph, the equivalent to a category 2 system on the Saffir Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

No fatalities or serious injuries have been reported from the storm but more than 100 people remain in evacuation centres in the northern coast of the small island of Rodrigues.

Power was knocked out across 90 percent of the tiny island, with more than 40,000 residents affected.

There is expected to be some damage to homes and phone networks remain down.


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