Ferocious storm brought estimated winds of 165 mph — in the midst of coronavirus pandemic. Harold’s onslaught on Pentacost Island, Vanuatu as captured by the Japanese satellite Himawari-8. (RAMMB/CIRA/JMA) Weeks into a global health emergency that’s virtually brought the world to a halt, the Republic of Vanuatu is dealing with another calamity: a monster tropical cyclone that struck at an intensity equivalent to a Category 5 hurricane. The cyclone, named Harold, rammed into the archipelago Monday, packing sustained winds up to 165 mph. Vanuatu is a series of 83 islands nestled about 1,200 miles east of Brisbane, Australia and 750 miles west of Fiji. The nation is frequented by earthquakes and tropical cyclones, but Harold was on the high-end of tempests that occasionally batter the islands. While referred to as a cyclone in the south Pacific Ocean, the storm is no different from a hurricane Harold is the strongest storm to strike Vanuatu since tropical cyclone Pam in 2015, which also had 165 mph sustained winds and caused $380 million in damage. [Top hurricane expert: Climate change influenced Tropical Cyclone Pam] According to the BBC, at least 27 lay dead in the nearby Solomon Islands following Harold’s weekend passage after


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