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Tue Feb 13, 2018, 08:16 AM

Cyclone Gita: Tonga devastated by worst storm in 60 years

Source: The Guardian

Cyclone Gita: Tonga devastated by worst storm in 60 years

Winds of more than 230km/h recorded as parliament building flattened and power lines brought down

Eleanor Ainge Roy
Mon 12 Feb 2018 22.16 GMT Last modified on Tue 13 Feb 2018 03.34 GMT

The islands of Tonga in the South Pacific have been devastated by Tropical Cyclone Gita with winds of 230km/h flattening parts of Parliament House and causing significant damage and injuries across the kingdom.

Gita hit Tonga around 8pm on Monday night and peaked between 11pm and 2am, slamming on to the south coast of the main island of Tongatapu, bringing down electricity lines, smashing churches and levelling fruit trees and crops vital to the island’s livelihood.

At its peak, winds reached 233km/h – far stronger than predicted, despite Gita not reaching a category five storm as anticipated.

According to the British Met office, Gita is the worst cyclone to pass so close to Tonga’s main islands in 60 years, and communications were lost overnight as Gita ripped the roof off the Tonga meteorological office as well as taking the national broadcaster off air for a time.


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Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/feb/13/cyclone-gita-tonga-devastated-by-worst-storm-in-60-years

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