13 Mar 2010

Fiji prepares for Tropical Cyclone Tomas

10:53 am on 13 March 2010

Fiji is preparing for a destructive cyclone expected to hit late tomorrow afternoon.

The cyclone is one of two named in the past 24 hours, and formed from a tropical depression north of Wallis and Futuna.

Tropical Cyclone Tomas is currently northwest of the French Pacific islands of Wallis and Futuna, and is expected to hit Fiji from Sunday afternoon.

The Fiji Metservice says Tomas is now a category two system and over the next 24-48 hours is expected to increase to a category three, or possibly a category four system.

Fiji's emergency services are on emergency alert, preparing for gale force winds, thunderstorms and damaging heavy swells.

Meanwhile, Tropical Cyclone Ului is currently causing heavy rainfall and strong wind gusts in Vanuatu's northern group.

It is expected to increase in strength as it heads towards Te motu province in Solomon Islands.