15 Mar 2010

Cyclone Ului winds affecting Rennell and Bellona in Solomons, but likely to move away

6:13 am on 15 March 2010

Winds on the edge of Cyclone Ului are affecting the southern Solomon Islands group of Rennell and Bellona.

The centre of the Category Five cyclone is 83 kilometres south of Rennell.

At its centre the storm has winds of up to 300 kilometres an hour and Rennell and Bellona residents were told to expect hurricane force winds and prepare for coastal flooding.

The spokesperson for the Solomon Islands National Disaster Management Office, Julian Makaa, said he was hopeful that the people would have sought shelter in the same way they've coped with previous cyclones.

The Meteorological service in Solomon Islands says it is looking likely that the cyclone will track away into the Coral Sea.

While still a Category five cyclone, forecasters in Fiji say Ului is weakening