Cyclone Pam, a category five tropical storm, has hit Vanuatu after causing destruction in several South Pacific nations.
Flash floods and strong winds have hit Tuvalu, Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, causing significant damage.
Vanuatu has issued a red alert nationwide.
Cyclone Pam has reached its north and was expected to felt in the capital, Port Vila, on Friday night.
There have been no casualties or loss of life reported yet.
Meanwhile, category three Cyclone Olwyn has hit the coast of Western Australia with wind gusts of up to 120mph.
People in the WA coastal region were warned to move to higher ground to escape dangerous flooding.
Cyclone Pam has already caused flash floods in Tuvalu, which has declared a state of emergency.
The storm destroyed homes and flooded crop areas in Kiribati and the Solomon Islands, where at least 3,000 households have been affected.
The Vanuatu Meteorological Services (VMS) said that at 18:00 local time Cyclone Pam was 65 miles north-northeast of Port Vila and packing strong winds of 142mph at its centre.
All six provinces are now under red alert, meaning people are advised to immediately head to shelter.
VMS said “very destructive winds and very rough to phenomenal seas with heavy swells” were already hitting the region, while torrential rainfall, flash flooding, landslides and storm surges were expected.
Vanuatu National Disaster Management Office spokesperson Mishaen Garae Lulu told Radio New Zealand that the government had lost contact with some parts of the northern provinces.
He said the cyclone was expected to be worse than Cyclone Uma which killed 50 people in 1987.
Port Vila, was expected to escape the worst of the cyclone but people were being advised to move away from rivers and the sea.
The Vanuatu country director for Save the Children, Tom Skirrow, told AFP he was concerned about families living in shanty town areas.
“Thousands of families are living in makeshift, flimsy houses which will not withstand the immense winds and rain we’re expecting. Families need to urgently evacuate to safe buildings or the results could be catastrophic.”
Cyclone Pam is expected to weaken as it moves southwards just off the east coast of the island chain, which has a population of about 246,000.
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American Samoa, the tiny nation, is better known for producing football and wrestling stars, but never gave any winning sprinter.
That didn’t stop Sogelau Tuvalu, 17, competing in one of the 100 m races at the IAAF (International Association of Athletics Federations) World Championships in Athletics in Daegu, South Korea.
Sogelau Tuvalu, the American Samoan sprinter was twice the size of the other six competitors and was the only athlete not wearing spikes on his shoes, risking a false start.
But despite setting off perfectly, Sogelau Tuvalu immediately trailed behind the competitors by a distance of about 40 m at one point.
Sogelau Tuvalu was twice the size of the other six competitors and was the only athlete not wearing spikes on his shoes
The American Samoan sprinter finished last with a time of 15.66 seconds, being 6 seconds slower than winner Mohammad Noor Imran A Hadi from Malaysia.
Wagering websites had listed Sogelau Tuvalu’s odds of winning at 50,000-to-1.
Sogelau Tuvalu’s time is the second slowest in the history of the championships.
Despite setting off perfectly, Sogelau Tuvalu immediately trailed behind the competitors by a distance of about 40 m at one point
2003 World champion, Kim Collins, from the Carribean nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, failed to qualify for the event in Athens in 1997 with his time of 21.73.
Sogelau Tuvalu is the latest in a line of athletes from American Samoa, which has a population of 67,000, who failed to qualify for the shot put.
Athletes from tiny countries are not required to meet the qualifying standards for track events.
In an interview with French television, Sogelau Tuvalu said he trained 4 hours a day for one month leading up to the meet.
The sprinter achieved his personal best and was upbeat about his efforts.
A reporter asked him: “Did you believe that one day you could race in a world championship?”
Sogelau Tuvalu replied: “I believed in myself. This is a dream come true.”
At the 2001 championships in Canada, spectators did a double take when Trevor Misipeka – who weighed about 135 kg – took to the track.
He was nicknamed Trevor the Tortoise after finishing last in his heat with a time of 14.28 seconds.
Trevor Misipeka, 32, plays now in the Arena Football League for the Quad City Steamwheelers in Moline, Illinois.
In 2009, in Berlin, 100 kg weight Savannah Sanitoa, then 22, found herself in a similar situation.
She crossed the finish line at 14.23 seconds, losing her heat by nearly 3 seconds.
But Savannah Sanitoa still managed to escape being the slowest in the 100 m on the day. That honour went to Tioiti Katutu from Kiribati, another nation of the Pacific, who clocked 14.38 seconds.