This article originally appeared on Weather Watch New Zealand website.
Updated Tues AM: Cyclone Harold remains Category 5 and last night made a second landfall in Vanuatu. Now Tonga may now also be directly impacted later this week.
The tropical storm made landfall on Monday afternoon on the island of Santo. Shortly after WeatherWatch.co.nz said a second landfall was possible later, because Vanuatu is made up of many islands not one single land mass.
The second landfall was around 8 to 9pm NZT (7 – 8pm Vanuatu time) Monday on Pentecost Island.
Unfortunately, this historic storm still remains Category 5 this morning as it slowly pulls away from Vanuatu and back into open waters. The island chain of Vanuatu was not big enough to weaken the powerful tropical cyclone.
Damage is likely to be significant on both islands where landfall occurred and unconfirmed reports says there has been complete devastation in the affected areas.
One positive is that Cyclone Harold is likely to depart quite fast today out to the east to south east, it will then track towards Fiji but the centre will remain well offshore from Nadi and Suva, tracking further to the south.
TONGA & FIJI
Those in Tonga should now be preparing for a possible Severe Tropical Cyclone later this week with latest tracking suggesting HAROLD could impact the nation directly, or very close by. However this far out it cannot be locked in.
People on islands south of Suva and Nadi, along with the nation of Tonga should be closely monitoring Cyclone Harold this week.
All our updates on Cyclone Harold can be found here: www.WeatherWatch.co.nz/category/TROPICS
8PM MONDAY NZT Infrared Satellite (Himawari) showing the eye of Cyclone Harold (Cat 5) making a second landfall, on the island of Pentacost.