Damage bill

Gita caused $US156 million in damages in Tonga

The ministry's chief executive Balwyn Fa'otusia said 5,499 properties received minor damage, 1,028 were majorly damaged and 469 houses were completely destroyed.

She said the government was providing material and labour for repairs, while about 250 damaged properties are still yet to be fixed.

Matangi Tonga reported the six month emergency period when people can import duty free construction materials, runs for another three months.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Education said 29 school buildings in Tonga will have to be rebuilt.