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Worst storm in 60 years for Tonga

February 12, 2018 11:56 pm

Tonga is beginning to see the severe damage by Tropical Cyclone Gita which has been called the worst storm to hit the country in 60 years.

Photos from the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa showed the Parliament house had been levelled, roofs had been torn off houses, trees knocked over and churches badly damaged.

According to Stuff NZ, the eye of the cyclone passed just to the south of Nuku’alofa and by 5am today was about 150km southwest of the main island of Tongatapu.

Meanwhile a school teacher who has been living in Tonga for five years told FBC news that she counts herself lucky as they were one of the least affected areas.

However, Virginie Dourlet, says a number of people have lost everything.

She says there are flooding in number of other areas and people are out trying to clear off the debris where flood waters have receded.

“So it’s really bad here but it’s worse in other areas. Now my neighbours the worse that happen to us in the neighbourhood was losing a roof, two of my neighbours. My house was actually safe that’s why I could easily be live tweeting during the night although it was not a pleasant night at all.”

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a NZ Defence Force plane was at the ready to go to Tonga, once it was known what was needed.

The New Zealand Government has $750,000 ready to help Tonga.

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said it was an “initial” contribution.