Fiji residents are bracing themselves as Cyclone Evan makes its presence felt.
Thousands of people have taken shelter in the region as Tropical Cyclone Evan batters the area with winds of up to 185km/h.
Up to 400 New Zealanders also hunkered down in evacuation centres, with Cyclone Evan increasing from category 3 to 4 as it made its way towards Fiji.
Pacific Harbour resident Michael Thoms, who lives 40 minutes from Suva on the edge of where Evan is set to hit hardest, said today he'd just watched a tree in his backyard "take off''.
Mr Thoms said Cyclone Evan was set to be more severe than Cyclone Bebe, which hit the region in 1972 and killed 18 people.
"Quite definitely this will be much worse than that one, I feel very sorry for the people up North on the Vanua Levu side.''
Cyclone Kina in 1993 killed 23 people in the region and left thousands homeless.
Mr Thoms said the wind was lashing the side of his house and he was staying indoors.
His family were in New Zealand for Christmas.
He said he was concerned about the islands of Wallis and Futuna, between Fiji and Samoa.
"The storm has passed right over the top of them, 1500 people live on those two islands -I believe they have lost contact, no doubt they are trying to establish contact again,'' said Mr Thoms. "The outcome there may be a very sad affair''.
Joanna Underwood of Nadi said they still had power but were forced to stay indoors. She had eight family members at her home and friends who who had flood-prone homes were arriving.
"We have nothing else to do here at the moment except stay inside and watch the wind blow everything outside.''
She said the wind was really starting to blow hard and trees outside were bent over.
"It's really gusting, but this is only the beginning of it - the rain has not really started here in Nadi, but once it comes we will then have lots of it.''