Tonga declares state of emergency over cyclone Gita

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Tonga, devastated by worst storm in 60 years, declared state of emergency with winds of 230km/h flattening parts of Parliament House and causing significant damage and injuries across the kingdom.

The category four Cyclone Gita ripped roofs from houses, brought down trees and caused widespread flooding and power lines brought down, leaving the main island of Tongatapu experience a complete blackout.

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New Zealand Air Force’s C-130H Hercules is on its way to deliver 12 tonnes of aid supplies and a 10-member team to Tonga to assess the damage caused by the cyclone. The Australian Government is also providing emergency humanitarian assistance to Tonga. Australia has deployed $350,000 in life-saving equipment including emergency shelter, kitchen, hygiene kits to assist over 2,000 people in need. It has also released humanitarian supplies, including tarpaulins and water purification tablets, through the Tongan Red Cross.

The neighbouring island nation Fiji is also under threat. Travellers need to be a bit cautious about the weather in the island nations before planning the journey, advised travel experts in Fiji.