Category 5 Tropical Cyclone Threatens Vanuatu

"MELBOURNE - A maximum category five tropical cyclone was heading towards the South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu on Friday, packing destructive winds of up to 185 kph (115 mph) and heavy rain, Vanuatu Meteorological Services (VMS) warned.

"The weather is getting wilder by the minute and the capital, like much of the rest of the country, remains in a state of lockdown," UNICEF Pacific spokeswoman Alice Clements said from the capital, Port Vila.

Cyclone Pam was upgraded to a category five storm, the most severe rating, but it was not expected to directly hit land, but brush passed Vanuatu on Friday night, possibly causing flash flooding."

Sonali Paul reports for Reuters March 13, 2015.

Source: Reuters, 03/13/2015