Hundreds of homes in Vavaʻu destroyed by Cyclone Winston

Tropical Cyclone Winston destroyed about 230 homes in Vavaʻu before it left for Fiji group Friday 19.

Newshub New Zealand said the number has been revealed after “officials managed to reach the area today”.

Kaniva News was told there was an extensive damage to trees and crops and there were reports a yacht  had been blown and turned.

Most of the people whose houses were damaged sheltered at churches and community halls.

Some people were still without power and water.

Tonga Met Service said today at 7.15pm a gale warning remains in force for Tele-ki-Tonga and Tele-ki-Tokelau.

It said the strong wind warnings previously in force for Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu have been cancelled, but remain in force for Vava’u, Ha’apai, Tongatapu and ‘Eua.

Met said heavy damaging swell warning remains in force for all Tonga coastal waters.

Meanwhile Fiji group is currently facing the full force of Cyclone Winston.

Winston is now a Category 5 system the strongest a tropical cyclone can reach and it is  the strongest storm on record to hit Fiji.

The Fiji government has imposed a nationwide curfew and a state of emergency was declared as a result of the mighty cyclone striking with winds gusting as high as 325 kilometres an hour.

Communication was also cut to some of the outer islands including Lau group.

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