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Tropical disturbance near Vanuatu has ‘high potential’ to become a cyclone

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The Pacific could be hit by another cyclone later this week.

The Fiji Meteorological Service says the potential for a tropical disturbance to develop into a tropical cyclone on Thursday is high, TVNZ reports.

The system, now detected between Vanuatu and Fiji, is expected to continue to lie in that area on Thursday when Fiji’s Tropical Cyclone Centre says there’s high potential for it to develop into a cyclone.

There’s moderate potential for it to develop into a cyclone tomorrow and Wednesday.

MetService in New Zealand says the most likely track will bring the tropical disturbance close to southern Vanuatu on Wednesday, before it starts moving away to the southeast.

But MetService stresses there is still considerable uncertainty with the exact track and evolution of the system.

There’s a small chance it may move west across Vanuatu into the Coral Sea instead, but this is the least likely situation, the forecaster says.

Tropical Cyclone Gita last month hit Tonga the hardest, causing devastation and two deaths, and also battered Samoa and other Pacific nations before its tail end affected central New Zealand and the West Coast, causing flooding and slips.

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