There is now a moderate to high chance that the tropical low located at west southwest of Santo will intensify further and move into Vanuatu in the next 24 to 48 hours.

If it forms into a cyclone, it will be named Tropical Cyclone Oma.

Oma is the next name after ‘Neil’ that the Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department (VMGD) has on its list of names for cyclones occurring in Vanuatu.

At 1pm yesterday, the tropical low was positioned at Square Letter A, number 7 (A,7) on the Vanuatu Tropical Cyclone Tracking Map, which is west southwest of Santo.

The system was moving east at 18km/hr as of yesterday afternoon.

The next information of the tropical low was expected to be issued by VMGD at midnight yesterday or earlier if the situation changes.

Senior Forecaster Levu Antfalo at VMGD’s Forecast Section explained that the tropical low must intensify under a set of necessary conditions in order to be a cyclone.

“At the moment the system is still a tropical low,” he said. “By Friday it could still be a tropical low or otherwise a slim possibility to be category 1.”

People are advised that the system will bring heavy rainfalls with flash flooding over low lying areas including coastal areas and areas close to river banks and rough seas.