At 5am (local time), Severe Tropical Cyclone Rita located about 270km east of Sola and 270km northeast of Maewo in Vanuatu.
The cyclone has moved in a south southwesterly direction at a speed of 15km/hr (8knots).
The National Disaster Management Office in Port Vila has issued a Red Alert for Torba and a Yellow Alert for Penama and Sanma provinces.
People have been advised not to go out on the water as very rough to phenomenal seas are expected over northern waters.
Heavy rainfall leading to flash flooding over low lying areas, river banks and coastal flooding is also expected to affect the provinces.
The Vanuatu Meteorology and Geo-Hazards Department projects Cyclone Rita will weaken by tonight.