Published: Wed, February 14, 2018

Cyclone destroys Parliament House, homes on Tonga, Fiji next

Cyclone destroys Parliament House, homes on Tonga, Fiji next

Several people were reportedly injured in the storm, and a 72-year-old man died of a heart attack, although it was unclear whether his death was related to Cyclone Gita.

He says the survey would focus on Tongatapu and the neighbouring island of Eua, and determine the damage to major infrastructure including airfields, ports and hospitals.

Gita was the worst cyclone to pass so close to Tonga's main islands in six decades, and is expected to hit Fiji's Lau Islands by midday Tuesday.

Disaster officials in the Pacific country of Tonga are describing a night of horror after Cyclone Gita lashed the country, flattening the Parliament, ripping roofs from houses and bringing down trees. The Tongan government declared a state of emergency on Monday, Feb. 12 and advised the public to stay off the roads.

A community leader on the Fiji island of Ono-i-lau says the damaging winds from yesterday's cyclone Gita were the most frightening and risky on living memory on the island.

"We have only received reports of three completely destroyed houses and we are just working around trying to ascertain the nature of these structures".

Power was slowly being restored after the late Friday storm.

About 2,500 people living on two of Fiji's islands were at risk, the nation's National Disaster Management Office told Radio New Zealand.

Of course landfall in New Zealand is still not 100% locked in - we'll have more confidence by the end of this week but it's looking more likely with each day. Director Anare Leweniqila said emergency supplies of food and water were being gathered and urged elderly and disabled people to begin moving into evacuation centers.

Gita hit Samoa and American Samoa over the weekend, flooding the Samoan capital, Apia.

Tonga, located east of Fiji and north of New Zealand, is usually celebrated for its handsome white-sand beaches and serene islands, making it a popular honeymoon destination.

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