Powerful storm levels Tongas parliament house and heads towards Fiji

first_img No Comments THE PACIFIC NATION of Tonga began cleaning up damage from a cyclone that destroyed its parliament house, as well as homes and churches, and was intensifying as it headed toward nearby Fiji.Cyclone Gita caused power outages after tearing through the island nation just south of the capital, Nuku’alofa, with winds exceeding 200 kilometres per hour at landfall.Some 5,000 people stayed in evacuation centres overnight, according to officials, and an emergency was declared. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or deaths.The cyclone was intensifying and was forecast to hit some southern Fiji islands tonight, though it’s likely to miss Fiji’s major population centers, including the capital, Suva.In Tonga, publisher Pesi Fonua said fallen trees were littering the landscape and their absence was opening up new vistas. He said many homes had lost their roofs or were otherwise badly damaged. Many people had endured a terrifying night and were glad to be alive, he added. People stand near a house damaged by Cyclone Gita in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Source: TVNZ via AP“Most of them haven’t experienced anything like this before,” he said. Tweet thisShare on FacebookEmail this article By Associated Press 9,960 Views Tuesday 13 Feb 2018, 7:44 AM Feb 13th 2018, 7:44 AM The parliament house damaged by Cyclone Gita in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. The parliament house damaged by Cyclone Gita in Nuku’alofa, Tonga. Image: TVNZ via APcenter_img Powerful storm levels Tonga’s parliament house and heads towards Fiji Cyclone Gita caused power outages after tearing through the island nation just south of the capital. https://jrnl.ie/3849132 Image: TVNZ via AP Share15 Tweet Email1 Short URL Parliament knocked downTongan noble lawmaker Lord Fusitu’a told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. it was a great disappointment the Parliament building had been knocked down.“Successive legislatures over the years have suggested building a new Parliament House, and I guess that’ll be a necessity now,” he said.About 2,500 people living on two of Fiji’s islands were at risk, the nation’s National Disaster Management Office told Radio New Zealand. First responders with a backhoe work amid strong winds and heavy rain from Tropical Storm Gita to clear part of the main road at Fagaalu village in American Samoa on Friday. Source: AP PhotoDirector Anare Leweniqila said emergency supplies of food and water were being gathered and urged elderly and disabled people to begin moving into evacuation centers.The storm has strengthened since hitting Samoa and American Samoa last week, where it caused damage to buildings, widespread power outages and flooding.US President Donald Trump on Sunday declared an emergency in American Samoa, a US territory. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide equipment and resources to help the 50,000 residents recover.Chris Brandolino, a scientist at New Zealand’s National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research, said flooding and coastal inundation would likely cause as many problems in Tonga as the damage from the winds.Both Australia and New Zealand are sending humanitarian supplies to Tonga, including emergency shelters, cooking equipment and hygiene kits.Read: Tonga declares state of emergency as it braces for arrival of powerful stormRead: Australia deputy PM under pressure to resign over affair with woman who was given government job It was a real shock for them.last_img read more