Cyclone Ula

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.