Residents in Fiji sheltered in evacuation centres as Tropical Cyclone Tino took aim at the Pacific island nation on Friday.
The Fiji Meteorological Service said the cyclone strengthened as it headed for Fiji's second-largest island, Vanua Levu.
"We have told them to be prepared, the Ministry of Education has shut down all schools, the evacuation centres are open as well. So everyone, they are aware that there's a system around," forecaster Stephen Meke told Radio New Zealand.
Wind gusts of up to 130 kilometres per hour (81mph) were forecast with warnings of heavy rain, coastal flooding and flash flooding in low lying areas.
The cyclone also poses a threat to Tonga's main island, Tongatapu. Source: Fiji Meteorological Service
Fiji Airways said it has cancelled several regional fights while adjusting the times of some international services.
Strong winds and heavy has been forecast as the cyclone lashes Fiji. Source: Twitter/@TCAPforTu8
Although the Pacific islands are popular tourist destinations in summer it is also the cyclone season, and Fiji is being targeted for the second time in three weeks.
A map charts the forecast path of the cyclone as it approaches Fiji. Source: Fiji Meteorological Service
Just after Christmas, Tropical Cyclone Sarai left two people dead and more than 2,500 needing emergency shelter as it damaged houses, crops and trees and cut electricity supplies.
On its present track, Tino would hit Tongatapu, the main island of neighbouring Tonga, on the weekend.
Two years ago, Tongatapu was hit by Cyclone Gina, with two people killed and nearly 200 houses destroyed.
Tonga's main island, Tongatapu, is in the forecast pathway of the cyclone. Source: Tonga Meterological Service
Additional reporting: AFP