15 Mar 2010

Eastern islands of Fiji face most threat from Cyclone Tomas

5:57 pm on 15 March 2010

Category four Cyclone Tomas is continuing to threaten the eastern islands of Fiji and the eastern part of Vanua Levu.

At its centre the cyclone has winds of up 270 kilometres an hour and residents in the eastern islands are bracing for very destructive hurricane force winds with gusts as strong as 230 kilometres an hour.

The rest of Fiji has been told to expect damaging gale force gusts of up to 110 kilometres an hour.

Heavy rain and flooding is also expected with very high seas and damaging heavy swells.

The cyclone, which is moving south, is expected to lie 255 kilometres east-north-east of Suva by early tomorrow moring.

Cyclone Tomas blow through Wallis and Futuna at the weekend but a gale warning remains in force for Futuna and a strong wind warning still applies in Wallis.

In Solomon Islands a cyclone warning is still current for Rennell and Bellona but Cyclone Ului, which remains a cateogry four system, is continuing to move into open waters to the west.

At its centre it has winds gusting at over 200 kilometres an hour.