Cyclone Gita

Tonga A's Pacific Challenge campaign hampered by Gita

The Tongans have lost consecutive games handsomely and sit at the bottom of the four team table with one round to go.

But Fatani said the cyclone really disrupted their preparation and led to a less than ideal tournament.

"Hurricane Gita hit us and affected our preparation.

"That whole week we didn't have any training at all," he said.

"So I was concerned about fitness, a lack of fitness, we had no time to catch up with the boys and train before we came to the tournament."

Grant from ILO for Tonga Gita victims

The grant agreement has been signed by the Ministry of Labour CEO, Edgar Cocker, for the first batch of the Community-Based Emergency Employment pilot programme.

Mr Cocker said the objective was to support those who had lost income and to improve food security.

The Nukunuku district officer Sione Kata said many people in 'Utulau earned money from selling produce.

Mr Kata said the financial assistance would help the growers to get back on their feet following the storm.


Food quality, education concerns weeks after Gita hit Tonga

Health officials have inspected 48 shops on the island of Tongatapu, and found more than 20 have food items no longer fit for human consumption.

About two tonnes of meat products have been disposed of because they were not fit to be eaten.

Crops have also been severely affected. 55 hectares of cassava plantation and 15,000 coconut trees have been destroyed, according to the assessment.

Meanwhile, an education report says nearly 300 students need help getting to school, after some schools were moved to other locations.


Europe gives more post-cyclone assistance to Tonga

Gita hit Tonga a month ago as a category four cyclone, leaving widespread destruction, particularly to the country's agriculture sector.

The EU gave an initial $US120,000 in post-cyclone assistance to Tonga last month.

A European humanitarian aid operations expert was also deployed to take part in a rapid assessment of the situation.

According to a statement from the EU's regional office in Fiji, the assessment indicates there are still many humanitarian needs to be addressed.

Chaplains help with Tonga trauma

Trained in trauma and grief counselling, the chaplains will spend time in the communities most affected by the cyclone before returning to the capital, Nuku’alofa.

The Roman Catholic charity arm, Caritas, has also joined the relief effort to deliver supplies – food, water, and temporary shelter – to those most affected.

But the chaplains at the forefront of rebuilding and strengthening the community through psycho-social support which will restore hope.

NZ commits a further $10m to Gita-hit Tonga

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern made the announcement after meeting with Tongan Prime Minister 'Akilisi Pohiva in the capital Nuku'alofa this morning.

New Zealand has so far contributed $2 million of emergency relief to three Pacific countries hit by the cyclone - Samoa, Tonga and Fiji, $750,000 of which went to Tonga.

Ms Ardern arrived at the meeting in the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa with Foreign Minister Winston Peters.

Mr Pōhiva was flanked by his Finance Minister, Energy Minister, Health Minister, and Agriculture Minister.

Heavy rain, wind continues to hit NZ

A front is moving northwards over the upper South Island this morning, then onto the lower North Island this afternoon.

Heavy rain has already fallen in Fiordland and southern Westland, and more is expected in the northwest of the South Island and parts of the lower North Island today.

But MetService severe weather forecaster Eric Brenstrum told Morning Report it should only be a "fraction" of the rain seen last week.

He said the front has weakened as it travelled north - while parts of Fiordland saw 300mm of rain fall yesterday.

Gita slaps Tonga with NZ$20 million bill

It will cost an estimated NZD$20 million (US$14,6 million) to fix the cyclone damage to the power grid on Tongatapu and ‘Eua, said Seti Chen, Operations Manager for Tonga Power Ltd.

This figure is from an initial assessment after the cyclone but if all goes well it may end up costing less.

“Obviously, we’re using a lot of hardware and material that we’ll be able to salvage and reuse but at the end of this week we will have a more accurate value of the overall damage,” he said.

EU supports victims of cyclone Gita in Tonga

Initial emergency assistance of €100 000 (TOP 265 390) has been provided to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies to help provide life-saving aid, starting with the most urgent needs for shelter, water and sanitation, as well as health assistance. The Commission has also activated the European satellite mapping system Copernicus, which has already provided maps of some of the most affected areas of the archipelago. 

Pohiva expects Tonga to bounce back after Gita

Buildings and crops were severely damaged on Tongatapu and 'Eua and hundreds have been left homeless.

But 'Akilisi Pohiva said locals had retained their good humour and had got on with the job of recovering from the category four storm.

"They feel sorry for what has happened but they still enjoy life. Remember, you know Pacific people, especially Tongans, are very simple. They are not complicated.

"Most people they know how to handle disasters."

Pohiva satisfied with disaster recovery