Cyclone Winston upgraded to category 4


Tropical cyclone Winston has been upgraded to a category 4 system, as it turns and heads back towards Tonga. The cyclone is expected to pass north of the Vava'u island group overnight tomorrow, and is generating wind speeds of up to 250 km/h.

Fiji's Metservice says people in Tonga should get ready for damaging winds and rain.

Tropical cyclone forecaster, Misaeli Funaki, told Newshub: "Vava'u is not out of the woods yet -- right now in the centre of the system, it's around 135 knots (250 km/h). The message is for people to be on the lookout and prepare accordingly."

Earlier in the week, Cyclone Winston downed trees and power lines, and damaged homes as it passed over Vava'u as a category 2 system.


Fiji's Metservice says after hitting Tonga, it is possible Winston could head towards the Lau island group in southern Fiji.