Flooding and damage in Tonga's capital of Nuku'alofa after Cyclone Gita hit the country, 13 February 2018. Photo: John Pulu / AFP Photo

13 February 2018 (AFP) – International aid began trickling in on Wednesday to areas of Tonga devastated by Cyclone Gita, as Fiji escaped the worst of the storm's fury.

Military aircraft from Australia and New Zealand flew emergency supplies to Nuku'alofa, which was battered early Tuesday by the most powerful cyclone ever recorded in the capital.

Fiji feared similar destruction when the tempest moved over its southern Lau islands early Wednesday, but initial indications were encouraging.

Fiji's maritime rescue centre said there had been no reports of casualties in the remote and sparsely populated islands, while state broadcaster FBC said three houses had been destroyed, along with plantation crops.

"At this stage it seems Fiji can count itself lucky in terms of the amount of damage," Fiji Disaster Management Office director Anare Leweniqila told the New Zealand Herald.

Meteorologists said the cyclone gathered pace as it moved westward out to sea and by early Wednesday reached top-of-the-scale Category Five.

But it is expected to weaken before skirting southeast of New Caledonia then dissipating over New Zealand next week.

The storm has carved a path of destruction through American Samoa, Samoa, and Tonga since late last week.

It flattened the historic heart of central Nuku'alofa, reducing churches, stores and the century-old parliament building to matchsticks.

More than 3,000 people were sheltering in evacuation centres on the main island Tongatapu, where water and power supplies remain intermittent. [more]

Aid reaches cyclone-hit Tonga as storm passes Fiji


  1. rpauli said...

    Nah... these guys studied the upper atmosphere, not ground level. Their buried lede was that they had a new way to munge data. Thanks for that. But, tropospheric ozone - even the slightest, damages any living tissue. That's why the US Govt tracks it so closely:

    And because it is so tightly linked to human industrialization, nobody wants to criticize - or fund studies. It's like studying the ocean, but limiting it to only the surface and not the shores.

    Ozone is bad down low, and good up high - but we need to look at the whole atmosphere and ocean and earth - ozone damages in soil and water.

    tons of research links at http://witsendnj.blogspot.com/p/basic-premise.html  


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