A Hurricane warning has been issued as Tropical Cyclone Lola intensifies into a Category 5 system this morning, with winds near the center of the cyclone estimated at 110 knots, increasing to 120 knots, and a central pressure of 940 hPa.
According to the latest warning issued from the Nadi Office, TC Lola is moving south at a slow speed and is becoming more intense.
Given its timing, TC Lola becomes the first Category 5 system to occur in October and only the second Category 5 Cyclone to develop outside the usual cyclone season, which typically spans from November to April. The previous instance of this occurring was with Cyclone Donna in May 2017.
A severe storm such as Lola can extensively damage sturdy homes, including roofs and exterior walls. It can also snap or uproot most trees, knock down power poles, and lead to residential isolation. Prolonged power outages may persist for weeks or even months.
Based on the current projection, TC Lola is expected to directly impact the northern islands of Vanuatu tonight and into tomorrow morning.