Cyclone damage

Cook Islands main island battered by storm

Yesterday strong gusts and heavy rain battered Rarotonga, with sea surges flooding low lying areas and inundating roads with debris.

Cook Islands Meteorological Service Director Arona Ngari said it will be a significant clean up operation.

"It has been a long week or so for us, but things have abated, so just waiting for another two three days for the whole momentum of the system to calm down. No major damage apart from coastal inundation, mostly from the waves. A bit of flooding last night and the day before from the rainfall," he said.

Tonga broadcaster in need of help after Gita

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission's acting general manager, Solomone Finau, said the station suffered damage to equipment and its studios during the storm.

Mr Finau said the TBC suffered more than 160-thousand US dollars worth of damage.

The TBC has been under constant scutiny for its flagging revenue and has recently been restructured but the general manager still hopes to get some financial help from the government.

Record insurance payout for Tonga following Cyclone Gita

Funds were transferred after seven days of the cyclone event, providing the government with rapid-response financing to support disaster-relief efforts and effective service delivery to the affected areas.

Tonga damage worst in decades

The category four storm made landfall there on Monday night, ripping roofs off houses and destroying a church as well as Parliament House.

Police confirmed yesterday a 72-year-old man from Fua'amotu was rushed to the hospital last night, but died of a heart attack before arriving. The director of health said the cyclone could have contributed to his death.

Tongan MP Lord Fusitu'a, who lives near the centre of Tongatapu, said another woman also died.