A 10-month old baby is among those missing and presumed dead in a Fiji cyclone after the boy's parents told a local television station they lost hold of him amid ferocious winds and floodwaters that rose to their necks.

The death toll from Cyclone Winston rose to 42 on Wednesday.

Another four people were listed as missing, including the infant on Koro Island, where at least 10 people have died.

The cyclone tore through the Pacific Island chain over the weekend with winds that reached 177 miles (285 kilometers) per hour, making it the strongest storm in Fiji's recorded history.

The parents of Apisai Vulaono told Fiji One Television they were at peace with the thought their firstborn child had found eternal life.

Government spokesman Ewan Perrin confirmed their account.