Tonga parliament constructing flattened by Cyclone Gita


Tonga is cleaning up after a category 4 cyclone tore through the island nation late Monday.

Radio Australia's Pacific Beat program said via Twitter that villagers on Ono-i-Lau had told it that crops and several houses had been destroyed, but there had been no reports of injuries.

This handout photo taken and received from John Pulu from Tagata Pasifika on February 13, 2018 shows flooding and damage in Tonga's capital of Nuku'alofa after Cyclone Gita hit the country.

The thoughts and prayers of all Fijians are with our people in southern Lau who are enduring the ordeal of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

"A lot of the older houses, especially some of the older heritage houses, have been badly damaged or destroyed, which is very sad, they're quite historical", Kenna said.

Tonga is made up of more than 170 islands, and is located in the Pacific Ocean east of Fiji and north of New Zealand.

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"Right now we are doing assessment to see where we can help and to see where the need is", she said.

Global and National Disaster Management Officer for Red Cross, Andrew McKie, says locals braced themselves before the cyclone hit. Disaster management teams are working to gauge the extent of the damage. Some 5,000 people stayed in evacuation centers overnight, according to officials, and an emergency was declared. says there has been little change in the reliable global modelling and private data we trusted from last Thursday when we first mentioned the storm and the potential of it hitting New Zealand.

The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) New Zealand said it was prepared to respond to the disaster and had already dispatched emergency supplies to nearby Fiji. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.

Fiji Meteorological Services director Ravind Kumar said the storm continued to move further west heading towards New Zealand.

There was no electricity, after power infrastructure that was shut down in advance of the storm suffered damage and communications to many parts of the country were cut.