Tonga's Met Office says cyclone warning system needs to improve

Tonga's Director of Meteorology says coordination needs to improve in the region when it comes to cyclone warnings.

Ofa Fa'anunu attended a regional Tropical Cyclone Committee Meeting in New Caledonia last month.

The meeting reviewed warning activities during the last two seasons and also considered the regional operational plan.

Mr Fa'anunu said it was important for regional services to keep striving to improve warning systems to give people timely and accurate information and minimise risk.

He concedes something that didn't go well during the last cyclone season was the handover of warning responsibilities for Tonga to the Regional Centre in Fiji during February's Cyclone Gita.

Matangi Tonga reports the Fua'amotu Met Office was severely damaged during the storm.

Mr Fa'anunu says it is clear that coordination needs to be improved and he says there has been a focus on regular testing across the region with a view to minimise future disruptions to warnings.