(CNN)A powerful storm is barreling down on Fiji, bringing hurricane-force winds to the Pacific island nation.
Tropical Cyclone Yasa has reached Category 5 level on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale as it approaches Fiji, with winds of up to 260 kilometers per hour (160 miles per hour). Only 24 hours ago it was at Category 1, and local officials have warned the potential effect of the storm could be devastating.
Yasa may strengthen more over the next 12 hours, before weakening slightly as it approaches Fiji in about 36 hours. Even so, the storm is still expected to be extremely strong when it reaches the country on Thursday night local time (Thursday morning ET).