Cyclone Gita's trail of destruction in Tonga

The AM Show 13/02/2018

Tonga woke up to the aftermath of Cyclone Gita's destruction, with some islands experiencing power cuts and 260km/h winds in the night.

The cyclone is expected to hit Fiji on Tuesday afternoon, and could head towards New Zealand as an ex-tropical cyclone next week.

Newshub has two correspondents in Tonga. What they know so far:

  • Winds reached upwards of 260km/h overnight
  • Entire islands had power cut off
  • Damage includes roofs ripped from houses, flooding and fallen trees
  • Dawn is breaking and the full extent of the destruction will soon be clear
  • The cyclone will hit Fiji on Tuesday afternoon
  • The front could move towards New Zealand as an ex-tropical cyclone next week.

Newshub's pacific correspondent Michael Morrah joined The AM Show, reporting from Tonga's capital.

It's really serious, it's a major disaster.

“Looking out my window this morning I can see homes that have collapsed, roofing iron ripped off, power cables everywhere,” he told The AM Show.

"I can see people sitting out on their roofs looking across the water. It's a mess.”

Mr Morrah took a video of the widespread damage and flooding on Tuesday morning.

Tearfund's chief executive later joined The AM Show, pleading Kiwis to not to send containers of goods to Tonga.

"We simply don't need containers full of junk," Ian McInnes told The AM Show.

Mr McInnes recommends giving money to aid agencies, which can help agencies put money towards prioritised efforts.

He said he expects a "full-scale response" from the New Zealand Government.

"It's anyone's guess how many homes are down now, livelihoods will have been lost.”

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