Cyclone June heads for New Caledonia, NZ

18 January 2014 3:44 AM

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Updated: 12:29, Saturday January 18, 2014

A fresh tropical cyclone has formed in the Pacific region and is gathering strength as it heads south towards New Caledonia and New Zealand.

A warning has gone out to all shipping in the path of Cyclone June to expect heavy swells and gale force winds.

June, which formed in the Coral Sea near the Solomon Islands as a category one cyclone, is expected to have intensified to category two before hitting Norfolk Island, between New Caledonia and New Zealand, on Sunday.

Meanwhile, recovery operations continued in Tonga after Cyclone Ian slammed into the Pacific kingdom last week as a maximum category five storm and packing winds in excess of 200km/h.

It left at least 4000 people homeless and destroyed vital crops in the central Ha'apai islands.

The Tongan government said in a statement there was concern about the shortage of food and the supply of clean and safe drinking water.

The health inspector in charge of water and sanitation, Folau Hola, told Radio New Zealand the low-lying areas of Ha'apai were in a critical situation because of rising sea levels contaminating wells, and most rooftop collection systems were destroyed during the cyclone.


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