Tonga on 'long road to reconstruction' after Cyclone Gita

Ebony Scott
February 15, 2018

More details emerged on Wednesday about the damage caused by the cyclone after it hit the main island on Monday night just south of the capital, Nuku'alofa.

The Tropical Cyclone is forecast to continue moving west-southwest.

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Hundreds of military personnel were clearing roads and disaster teams were already assessing the damage.

Tonga is a Polynesian kingdom that consists of more than 170 South Pacific islands, many uninhabited.

Damage from Cyclone Gita on the islands of Tonga.

Meanwhile, a 72-year-old man from Fua'amotu died suddenly in hospital while three people were seriously injured and 30 were admitted to hospital with minor injuries, Tei said.

"Tonga has been hit very hard by Cyclone Gita resulting in a lot of damage".

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Spark announced today it will credit its customers for the cost of landline and mobile calls and texts to Tonga and Samoa in the aftermath of Cyclone Gita. The country's parliament building was destroyed, and there was significant flooding.

It has been estimated about 5700 people sought shelter in evacuation centres during the cyclone, and it is expected these numbers would increase substantially last night.

Lt. Gov. Lemanu Peleti Mauga says the storm caused widespread damage to homes and infrastructure.

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

The Australian and New Zealand governments pledged a combined $1 million in aid for the island nation.

Of course landfall in New Zealand is still not 100% locked in - we'll have more confidence by the end of this week but it's looking more likely with each day.

New Zealand Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said emergency supplies had been stocked and prepared and were ready to be dispatched to the country.

Other reports by GizPress

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