The South Pacific cyclone season's first storm has formed with the system between Solomon Islands and Vanuatu being named Rita.
Cyclone Rita Photo: Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department
The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department said at 2am local time, the category 1 storm was about 360km northeast of Torres.
Cyclone Rita is moving slowly southeast with sustained winds of around 75km an hour. Winds are expected to strengthen shortly to include gusts of up to 105 km/hr.
It is forecast to intensify in the next two days before weakening on Thursday.
On its current path the storm will not make landfall but move south between Vanuatu and Fiji.
From tonight, Cyclone Rita is expected to bring damaging gale force winds and very rough seas to Torba province.
By tomorrow, it is expected to affect Sanma and Penama provinces.
Authorities have advised people to avoid going out to sea until the storm moves out of the area.