Cyclone Gita moving away from Fiji

Posted February 16, 2018

Most of Fiji has escaped the worst of Tropical Cyclone Gita, but contact with Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa - potentially the worst hit - will not be restored until tomorrow.

Forecast tracking by Tropical Storm Risk had the cyclone moving westwards and then heading south and avoiding New Caledonia.

The main concern was for the islands of Ono-i-Lau and Vatoa, which were directly in the cyclone's path.

"Right now we have lost all communications with the island (s)".

The country was devastated by Cyclone Pam in 2015 and Mr Korisa said his office had been fielding calls from concerned people. "I think a lot of people were very desperate last night".

"We have received initial reports from Turaga-ni-Koros indicating that housing and agriculture are the sectors with the most damages".

Gale, wind and storm warnings also remained in effect.

Naga was in his "secure home" with three other families from his neighbourhood.

Cyclone Gita had winds of up to 125 miles (200 kilometers) per hour and flattened the nation's parliament, reported Reuters.

Back in Tonga, the island nation was picking up the pieces after Gita passed through on Monday night, wreaking havoc with its powerful winds and torrential rain.

Fiji Red Cross prepare for Tropical Cylone Gita. But, the level of damage to crops, homes, vegetation and infrastructure was extremely high. "It was a terrifying night", Graham Kenna from the National Emergency Management Office told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

"We got teams going out today (yesterday) to all the affected areas to assess the damage, the needs and see whether we have the capacity to respond".

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters announced a $750,000 aide fund and the New Zealand Government will deploy a Defence aircraft into Tonga carrying emergency relief supplies. Global assistance from Australia and New Zealand are also getting ready to be deployed to Tonga to help with restoration works.