[Source: Fiji Meteorological Services]
The Fiji Meteorological Services says as at 6am today, Tropical Cyclone Irene intensified further into a Category 2 system while located to the south of Villa, Vanuatu.
It says TC Irene is tracking east-southeast at around 25 knots or 46 kilometres per hour with maximum winds near the center of 55 knots or 102 kilometres per hour with gusts up to 65 knots or 120 kilometres per hour.
Strong force winds and heavy rain from TC Irene is mainly affecting Vanuatu.
The Met Office says the category 2 system is likely to track over open waters and remain to the southwest of Fiji, about 560 kilometres southwest off Kadavu tonight.
Heavy rain and thunderstorms is expected over Yasawa and Mamanuca Group, Western and Northern Viti Levu [Nadi, Lautoka, Ba, Tavua and Rakiraki, Interior Ba and Interior Ra], Bua and Macuata Province, Vatulele, Kadavu and nearby smaller islands.
Moderate to fresh northwesterly winds, gusty at times becoming strong with average speeds of 45km/hr with gusts upto 50 km/hr is also expected in these areas from later today.