Global News

Tropical Cyclone Gita could be most powerful to ever hit Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Gita could be most powerful to ever hit Tonga

Red Cross worker based in Suva Hannah Butler told Morning Report locals were well aware that it was tropical cyclone season, and Tongans would be taking extra precautions.

Its track on Monday morning suggested it would pass close to the main Tongan island of Tongatapu. Tongatapu would be "pretty much exposed to the full brunt of the cyclone". They do agree Gita will remain a powerful Cat 5 or Cat 4 storm for the days ahead and track westwards, but they don't yet agree when the storm will start to turn south into the Tasman Sea. "It just implies it's becoming a very intense storm when you have an eye forming".

Tropical Storm Gita caused some damage to buildings and widespread power outages early Saturday, a day after making its nearest pass to the islands. Gita is now bearing down on Tonga as a category 4 storm.

According to the Fiji Meteorological Service, Tropical Cyclone Gita is forecast to arrive in Tonga on Monday, 12 February 2018 in the evening.

For Tongatapu, 'Eua and Ha'apai, winds were expected to get to 150kmh, with momentary gusts of 185kmh.

The advisory warns the cyclone is expected to hit as a Category 4 storm, bringing destructive winds, heavy rainfall, unsafe storm surge and flooding to Tonga.

Pence: 'No daylight' between U.S. , allies on North Korea
Moon did not immediately accept the invitation and has said he hopes the "right conditions" will be created so it can go ahead. According to South Korea's central bank, North Korea's economy grew by 3.9 per cent in 2016, but may have contracted in 2017.

The Metservice also warned of huge coastal swells and flooding of low-lying areas.

Earlier, Kaniva Tonga reported that Tonga's Minister of Police Māteni Tapueluelu said police had forced a hardware supplier to close down yesterday for breaching the country's Sunday laws. Many of you are seeing the various models in the public domain, some show a direct hit to New Zealand this Sunday while others show the storm nearly reaching Australia before curving back towards New Zealand next Wednesday.

If it reached this country it could be as strong, or even stronger, than the remnants of Tropical Cyclone Fehi.

Brown floodwaters gush into house in Apia, Samoa.

The centre of Cyclone Gita is about 730 kilometres East of Ono-i-Lau.


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