Strongest storm in 60 years batters Tonga in South Pacific


There was no electricity, after power infrastructure that was shut down in advance of the storm suffered damage and communications to many parts of the country were cut. Tonga's National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) said there is no house left undamaged by the tropical storm, according to Radio NZ.

"We have received initial reports from village headmen indicating that housing and agriculture are the sectors with the most damages".

"A lot of the older houses, especially some of the older heritage houses, have been badly damaged or destroyed, which is very sad, they're quite historical", Kenna said.

Assessment and data gathering was still the main focus as the disaster management office looks to determine its long term response.

"There will be some immediate shelter needs that we're going to be responding to and then of course there's a longer term long road of reconstruction after these disasters".

Wind gusts at Ono-i-Lau had reached 190km/h last night.

Members of the Samoan Red Cross visit people in their homes to assess the damage caused by Tropical Cyclone Gita.

Manila: Four people were killed in the southern Philippines on Tuesday as a tropical storm unleashed heavy rain and triggered deadly landslides, police said. "And the sooner we can restore them the better".

Leweniqila praised the remarkable preparation of the Fijian communities, and said it was one of the reasons damage was minimal. The storm strengthened as it moved south.

He said police were trying to make contact with the island from Nakolo in Hahake due to their closeness but he has yet to be updated in it.

"It's fair to say we see ourselves as having a huge responsibility here - New Zealand has, in these situations in the past". We are providing assistance as planned, and I am getting updates every few hours.

Culture Minister Francoise Nyssen said the huge project will completely open up the enormous complex of galleries and exhibition spaces which also houses the city's Palace of Discoveries science museum.