In Noumea during the passage of Cyclone Pam, in 2015. (archives) -
FRED PAYET / AFP
A level 2 hurricane alert, the highest, will be triggered over the whole of New Caledonia on Saturday morning, due to the passage of Cyclone Niran, civil security announced.
This Friday, the phenomenon generated winds to 170 km / h near its center and gusts to 240 km / h.
The cyclone was located about 750 kilometers in the west-northwest of the Belep archipelago, in the far north of New Caledonia where a tsunami warning was also triggered this Friday morning after an earthquake of magnitude 8.1 near the Kermadec Islands, without the dreaded wave finally breaking.
“Niran accelerates his race and shifts to the East South-East.
Over the next twenty-four hours, this tropical cyclone could reach its peak of intensity with gusts of around 270 km / h near its center, ”Météo-France NC said.
Cyclone alert number 2, which recommends staying confined inside homes, will be triggered on Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (8 p.m. in Paris this Friday) in 25 municipalities of Grande Terre and the Loyalty Islands, then it will be extended two hours later to the whole archipelago.
The center of the cyclone should pass a few tens of kilometers northwest of Grande Terre, then graze the southwest coast.
However, the meteorological services do not exclude that it may also cross the archipelago.
Given the heavy rains and the violence of the winds that are expected, several municipalities, including Nouméa where 10,000 people live in precarious housing, have opened accommodation centers.
The populations living in coastal areas were also invited to evacuate, because of the risk of marine submersion.
The domestic company Aircal has also sheltered its four aircraft in Brisbane, Australia.
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