Cyclone Ula

New Caledonia lifts cyclone warning

Meteorological authorities in the territory have warned of three metre high swells for the islands of Mare and Isle des Pins.

Ula was downgraded to a category three storm yesterday afternoon after leaving minimal damage on Vanuatu's southern group.

Cyclone Ula downgraded to Category Three

Ula is now a Category Three cyclone and is easing as it moves in a south easterly direction from its position south of the Vanuatu group.

Ula reached Category Four level as it veered towards Vanuatu's south at the weekend raising fears for vulnerable islands in Tafea Province which are still recovering from the devastation of last year's Cyclone Pam.

Ula upgraded to a category three storm

It says the system, which became a three overnight, is moving north-west at three kilometres per hour.

A storm warning is currently in force for ships within 500 kilometres of Ula, as it moves between Fiji and Vanuatu.

Cyclone Ula is expected to reach the southernmost islands of Vanuatu on Monday.

Cyclone Ula strengthens again

The cyclone, whose strength had peaked last weekend when it crossed northern Tonga and Fiji's Lau group, is changing direction again.

After being on a northwesterly trajectory, Cyclone Ula is forecast to turn towards the southwest.

Cyclone Ula causes minor damage in Fiji

The Disaster Management Office says reports from Ono-i-Lau and Kabara say there were no casualties and no significant structural damage, but some corrugated iron roofs were blown away.

The Office says root crops have been damaged by the strong winds.

Many people sought shelter in safe structures at the height of the storm.

Three die at sea in Fiji and four others are missing

The Office has confirmed that three people, including a three year old, died earlier this week after attempting to make the return crossing to the Ovalau mainland from Moturiki.

It also says four people are missing after leaving to go fishing three days ago off Rakiraki on the island of Viti Levu.

The NDMO says the incidents were associated with a weather system NOT connected to Cyclone Ula, which is passing through the Lau islands in the country's southeast.

Fiji's outer islands bunker down during cyclone

The small islands of the Lau group have been warned to expect destructive storm force winds of up to 155 kilometres an hour over the next few hours.

At its centre the category three system is producing average winds of 150 kilometres an hour and gusts of more than 205 kilometres an hour.

Planner for the Eastern Division, Eliki Masa, says there have been no reports of significant damage although some trees have been damaged.

Mr Masa says the Lau group has been well prepared.

Strong wind and flood warning issued for most of Fiji

A strong wind warning is in force for eastern Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Lau and Lomaiviti group.

Residents can expect strong winds with average speed of 45km/hr gusting to 65km/hr over Eastern Viti Levu, Vanua Levu, Taveuni and nearby smaller islands, Yasawa and Mamanuca Group with rough to very rough seas.

Cyclone Ula not expected to intensify

The Category One system developed on Wednesday night and has caused stormy weather around Kiribati, Tokelau and Tuvalu throughout the week.

Early this morning Ula was located to East of American Samoa, around 560 km east northeast of Apia and north of the northern Cook Islands heading in a south east direction.