Tropical Cyclone Lucas had just passed through Papua New Guinea leaving behind severe effects in parts of Milne Bay and Central Province following gusty winds and heavy rains that penetrated the coastal region of PNG.
National Weather Service said Cyclone Lucas is headed towards Vanuatu after the weekend, lessening the risks of further damages in the islands of Milne Bay and Central Province coastline.
“PNG is no longer at risk of a major landfall, so are the coastal islands of Milne Bay and Central,” said Acting Director of the National Weather Service Jimmy Gomoga.
Mr Gomoga said Tropical Cyclone Lucas was first sighted forming at the tip of Queensland, Australia last week and eventually moved into the Coral Sea when National Weather Office gave out initial warnings and alerted communities of a possible Tropical Cyclone, with very strong winds coming through including West Monsoon stages expected across the country.
By Friday the winds began to cut through, and the system started moving towards the East and on Sunday afternoon Lucas was identified and named.
“When system forms within our region then we name it, but because it was outside of PNG within the Australian region and then developed into a tropical cyclone,” said Gomoga.
Around 4pm Sunday afternoon Tropical Cyclone Lucas was at category one (1) and forming at the South and South East of the Milne Bay Islands and this morning it was upgraded to category two (2) having major effects on the Islands South of Milne Bay and the Coastal areas of Central Province.
“However by 10 am this morning Tropical Cyclone Lucas has moved away from Papua New Guinea.”
We do not know the extent of the impacts Tropical Cyclone Lucas had on the islands of Milne Bay Provinces including the coastal villages of Central Province yet.
The disaster teams in Milne Bay and Central Province have being alerted and will carryout their assessment in both provinces.
The islands South of Milne Bay would have most likely been the hit hard by the impacts of the cyclone and teams should be dispatched especially on Sidea Island, Misima, Tagula and Rossell Island, more so on the little island of Jinjo to assess the damages.
The Weather office said wind strength is very high at this time for coastal areas, travelling at speeds up to 100km/hr and it can blow away trees and houses that do not have strong foundations including power lines.
“The Gale wind warning still stands and everyone is advised not to go out to sea at this time until further instructions from the National Weather Office.”
The Tropical Cyclone warning is now being lifted by the National Weather Office but the Gale Wind Warnings still stand for the next 24 hours.
Currently the Weather Service is monitoring 3 systems, Cyclone Bina that is forming just East of Solomon Islands and North of Fiji while cyclone Anna that has hit Fiji and it is most likely Cyclone Bina will also hit Fiji very soon including Tropical Cyclone Lucas which had actually passed through PNG.