Cyclone hits southern Fiji islands
Thousands of Tonga residents face a long wait for power and other services to be restored after a cyclone tore through the Pacific nation this week.
More details emerged yesterday about the damage caused by Cyclone Gita after it hit the main island Monday night just south of the capital, Nuku’alofa. The cyclone destroyed homes, churches and even the nation’s historic Parliament House.
There have been no confirmed deaths from the storm. Tongan police said three people suffered major injuries and 30 had minor injuries. Police said an officer was injured while trying to help a family evacuate and was in stable condition in a local hospital.
Most of the main island remains without power and many phone lines aren’t working. Some 5,000 people stayed in evacuation centres during Cyclone Gita, according to officials. Tonga, which is home to about 106,000 people, has declared an emergency.
New Zealand has pledged 2.25 million New Zealand dollars (Dh6.05 million) in aid to help with the cleanup from the cyclone in several island nations, while Australia is deploying equipment worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.