PEOPLE in Vanuatu are being warned to stay clear of flood zones with rising rivers, mudslides and sea swells predicted as Tropical Cyclone Oma hits northern provinces.
The category 2 cyclone is moving slowly, increasing the impact of heavy rains over Torba, Sanma, Penama and Malampa provinces.
The government has issued a red alert closing schools and businesses.
The Red Cross team leader on Santo island, John Boar, said people must stay at home.
He said the cyclone was already drenching the western parts of Santo and the rest of Sanma Province.
“Since it is moving very slow, we will experience more rain and flooding in the areas of Sanma,” Boar said.
“There’s a lot of rivers we would expect more flooding and mudslides in areas where there is loose soil.”
The cyclone is expected to affect Luganville on the south of Santo this afternoon, Boar said.