Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Medicine | By Melba Vasquez

Tonga: Cyclone Gita leaves trail of destruction

Tonga: Cyclone Gita leaves trail of destruction

The thoughts and prayers of all Fijians are with our people in southern Lau who are enduring the ordeal of Tropical Cyclone Gita. The cyclone was still a category 4 but had potential to develop to category 5 as it continued to moved west.

After cyclone Gita's fierce winds ripped off roofs and felled coconut trees, people in Tonga emerged from shelter to find homes destroyed.

Digicel Tongas network restoration well underway Tuesday, 13th February 2018 Suva, Fiji As recovery efforts are now underway in Tonga, Digicel is working round the clock to get critical communication services back up and running so that ...

The parliament building in the Pacific country of Tonga has been destroyed by the worst storm to hit the country in more than 60 years.

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There were no confirmed reports of deaths from the Category 4 storm that brought winds of around 200kmh, but there were a lot of people injured, some seriously, said Mr Graham Kenna, an Australian government adviser at Tonga's National Emergency Management Office.

It would downgrade further from a tropical cyclone to an ex-cyclone, likely becoming a category 2 storm on Monday or Tuesday, as it entered the relatively cooler waters of the Tasman Sea, Martens said.

He says the survey would focus on Tongatapu and the neighbouring island of Eua, and determine the damage to major infrastructure including airfields, ports and hospitals. It is located in the east of Fiji and north of New Zealand.

Kenna said it was the worst situation he had ever been in.

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Worldwide and National Disaster Management Officer for Red Cross, Andrew McKie, says locals braced themselves before the cyclone hit.

"We've been rebuilding for a thousand years, we've had cyclones come before".

"The full extent of damage caused by Cyclone Gita is still being assessed but there is an immediate need for assistance on the ground", New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said in a statement.

Spark and Vodafone offered free calling and texting to Tonga for customers desperate to communicate with their loved ones.

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