Tropical Cyclone Namu

16 - 22 May 1986


Namu was the last cyclone to affect the Australian region for the season. It was the first May cyclone to occur in the Eastern rqgion since 1982.

Namu had its genesis in a cloud mass to the northeast of the Solomon Islands. At 1500 UTC 16 May a tropical depression was identified at 7.0°S, 164°E. Within 24 hours (1200 UTC 17 May) cyclone Namu developed at 8.2°S, 163.5°E with a central pressure of 995 hPa.

Namu tracked steadily southwest and strengthened during the 18-19 May. At 1800 UTC 18 May (9.7°S, 160°E) Namu had estimated winds of 93 km/h and a central pressure of 976 hPa. Namu (12.0°S, 158.9°E) reached peak intensity 18 hours later with estimated winds of 130 km/h and central pressure of 960 hPa. The cyclone recurved through south to east by 21 May when it moved into the Nadi (Fiji) area of responsibility.

Namu 's slow passage over the Solomon Islands brought prolonged heavy rain and mud slides. These mud slides caused major damage and were the major contributing factor in the death of over 100 people.

More than a thousand people were injured and 90000 were left homeless. Only minor damage was caused by high winds.

Track and intensity

Best Track of Tropical Cyclone Namu