A Powerful Storm Leaves Tonga’s Parliament Homeless

Storm damage in Nuku’alofa, Tonga’s capital, on Tuesday. Tropical Cyclone Gita was the strongest storm to hit the Pacific island nation in decades.

February 13, 2018

John Pulu/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

HONG KONG — Tonga began cleaning up on Tuesday coming from the most powerful storm to hit the South Pacific island nation in at least 60 years, which flattened its Parliament building, damaged houses as well as left thousands without power.

Tropical Cyclone Gita was measured as a Category 4 storm, with sustained winds of up to 145 miles per hour, when the item crossed south of Tongatapu, Tonga’s main island, late Monday.

The storm knocked down the kingdom’s century-old Parliament building as well as tore off roofs inside the capital city of Nuku’alofa.

“the item was a terrifying night,” Graham Kenna, an adviser to Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office, told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. “We’re on the third floor of one of the safest buildings in Nuku’alofa as well as the building was shaking as well as getting pounded by debris coming from missing roofs.”

One man died of a heart attack while being rushed to a hospital, as well as the storm may have contributed to his death, a police spokeswoman, Sia Adams told Radio completely new Zealand. More than 30 people on Tongatapu were injured, three of them seriously, she said.

The storm was the most powerful cyclone to pass so close to Tonga’s main island in at least 60 years, Britain’s Met Office said.

Tonga’s century-old Parliament building was leveled by the Category 4 storm.

Jamie Motu’Apuaka/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

The government of completely new Zealand announced of which the item was sending a C-130 military aircraft with rescue supplies. About 5,700 people had sought shelter in evacuation centers, Winston Peters, completely new Zealand’s foreign affairs minister, said in a statement.


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