Tropical cyclones in South Pacific gather strength

15:00, March 14, 2010      

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Two tropical cyclones moving across the South Pacific gathered strength on Sunday afternoon, according to Fiji's metservice.

Cyclone Ului was heading for the southern Solomon Islands, while cyclone Tomas was bearing down on northern Fiji.

Tropical cyclone Ului moved from a category four to category five system on Sunday afternoon, with winds of 115 knots at its center, said Fiji's metservice.

Cyclone Ului was expected to affect southern parts of Solomons within the next 24 hours, bringing with it destructive winds and flooding.

Cyclone Tomas has increased to a category three and was sitting 310 km northeast of northern Fiji.

Winds are expected to reach damaging gale force on Sunday night in northern Fiji and increase to hurricane force on Monday.

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