Tonga parliament constructing flattened by Cyclone Gita

Bryan Strickland
February 16, 2018

Desperate people boarded up their homes and stocked up on essential supplies while praying and hoping for the best before heading to the safety of emergency shelters.

The next few days will see the outer bands of the storm give a glancing blow the southern Islands of Fiji.

Crops in the two most southernmost islands of the Lau group, Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa were badly damaged, a government statement issued this afternoon informs.

"Right now we have lost all communications with the island (s)".

NASA's Terra satellite saw powerful Tropical Cyclone Gita in the South Pacific Ocean on February 12 at 5:20 p.m. EST (22:20 UTC).

Fijivillage has also received confirmation that destructive winds are being experienced in Ono-i-Lau and heavy swells as high as 5 metres were recorded around the coastal areas of Ono-i-Lau early this morning.

Tonga has been lashed by a devastating tropical storm, with winds exceeding a speed of 230 km/hr, damaging various houses and commercial shops, flattening parts of the country's Parliament House and causing injuries across the country.

Gale, wind and storm warnings also remained in effect.

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Thousands of people are still unable to return home and the government has confirmed three people were seriously injured by the cyclone.

Damages in Tonga after TC Gita.

Fiji Red Cross prepare for Tropical Cylone Gita. The cyclone was so severe that it ripped off the roof of the Tongan Meteorological Office and taking the national broadcaster off air for some time. "It was a terrifying night", Graham Kenna from the National Emergency Management Office told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

At least 80% of the electricity network was severely damaged from Nuku'alofa CBD up to Lavengamelie, to Tofoa and back to Patangata and Popua, said Seti Chen, Manager Operations at Tonga Power Ltd. today.

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

Tonga's parliament building is more than 100 years old.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said New Zealand was making available an initial $750,000 to support relief efforts in Tonga.

Other reports by GlobalViralNews

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