Relief effort steps up as Tongan floodwaters recede

Relief efforts in Tonga are continuing as floodwaters recede from low lying areas in Nuku'alofa.

RNZI reports more than 350 people in the capital have been affected with some families moved to evacuation centres.

This is after heavy downpour last week saw 300 mm of rain fall in 24-hours over Friday and Saturday. Heavy rains continued until Tuesday.

The Director of the National Emergency Management Office, Leveni 'Aho said relief funding allocations sought earlier in the week had now been released and authorities were stepping up relief efforts.

"We have been supporting them by way of trying to evacuate them to some dryer place or safe higher ground and distribution of safe water," said Mr 'Aho.

"Mainly because it is a health concern that when people in this area don't access clean water then we might have some other threats other than actually being inundated."