New Caledonian civil defence authorities have issued a first warning in preparation for Cyclone Gita.
The "pre-alert" as it's known, came into effect at 4pm today local time.
The now category three storm is tracking toward the south of New Caledonia.
A local journalist Gilles Caprais said the pre-alert indicates people should not plan any outside activities and should start securing their house, water and food supplies.
He said people were currently free to continue working and shops and businesses remain largely unaffected.
He said people were awaiting the first formal alert.
"Level One, you have to prepare to leave. You have to pack up your stuff. You can still be working. You can still be on site but you have to prepare yourself. You have to prepare to leave," Gilles Caprais said.
Mr Caprais said when a Level Two alert is issued, two hours before the cyclone arrives, people must remain inside.