14 Mar 2010

Cyclone Ului intensifies

11:23 am on 14 March 2010

Tropical cyclone Ului has been strengthening rapidly and is expected to hit southern parts of the Solomon Islands over the next 24 hours.

A senior forecaster for Fiji's metservice, Matt Boterhoven, says Ului is currently 450 kilometres southwest of the Solomon's Santa Cruz Islands, with winds of about 100 knots at its centre.

He says the category four cyclone is expected to move west, with its winds increasing to 115 knots over the next 18 to 24 hours.

Meanwhile, another cyclone - cyclone Tomas - is sitting 405 kilometres northeast of Udu Point in the far north of Fiji.

Matt Boterhoven says it is expected to rise from a category two to a category three cyclone in the next 6 to 12 hours.

He says tropical cyclone warnings have already been issued for Tuvalu, Wallis and Futuna and gale force winds are expected to develop in northern parts of Fiji tomorrow.