Cyclone Donna upgraded to category four storm

A satellite image of Cyclone Donna northeast of Vanuatu.
JTWC

A satellite image of Cyclone Donna northeast of Vanuatu.

A tropical cyclone that formed in the South Pacific has taken on a more intense form and has now been upgraded to category four. 

The storm brought winds exceeding 200 kilometres an hour to Vanuatu and the province of Torba has been the worst hit. 

RNZ has reported that The Red Cross has finally been able to make contact with people in northern parts of Vanuatu.

A forecast track map for Cyclone Donna, which now has been upgraded to category four.
Fiji Meteorological Services

A forecast track map for Cyclone Donna, which now has been upgraded to category four.

Corrine Ambler from the Red Cross said they had made contact with volunteers in the Torres Islands via VHF radio.

"They're telling us that in Torres, quite a few of the houses have been damaged and some have been destroyed.

"There's about 1000 in the affected area and I understand that almost 200 people are taking shelter in a cave in one of the islands."

The cyclone was originally predicted to move south of Vanuatu but it's now apparently moving west out to sea.

This possibly puts neighbouring New Caledonia in its path and authorities have issued warning to people to be vigilant.

Full assessments of the damage will be able to be made once the cyclone moves away from Vanuatu.

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