* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.
Intense tropical cyclone Niran is forecast to strike New Caledonia at about 02:00 GMT on 6 March. Data supplied by the US Navy and Air Force Joint Typhoon Warning Center suggest that the point of landfall will be near 21.1 S, 163.8 E. Niran is expected to bring 1-minute maximum sustained winds to the region of around 203 km/h (126 mph). Wind gusts in the area may be considerably higher.
According to the Saffir-Simpson damage scale the potential property damage and flooding from a storm of Niran's strength (category 3) at landfall includes: Storm surge generally 2.7-3.7 metres (9-12 feet) above normal. Some structural damage to small residences and utility buildings with a minor amount of curtainwall failures. Damage to shrubbery and trees with foliage blown off trees and large trees blown down. Mobile homes and poorly constructed signs are destroyed. Low-lying escape routes are cut by rising water 3-5 hours before arrival of the centre of the storm. Flooding near the coast destroys smaller structures with larger structures damaged by battering from floating debris. Terrain continuously lower than 1.5 metres (5 feet) above mean sea level may be flooded inland 13 km (8 miles) or more. Evacuation of low-lying residences within several blocks of the shoreline may be required. There is also the potential for flooding further inland due to heavy rain.
The information above is provided for guidance only and should not be used to make life or death decisions or decisions relating to property. Anyone in the region who is concerned for their personal safety or property should contact their official national weather agency or warning centre for advice.
This alert is provided by Tropical Storm Risk (TSR).