Cyclone Zena downgraded as it expected to make landfall in Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Zena was due to make landfall in Tongtapu this afternoon but was downgraded to a Category 2 storm overnight as it was moving away from Fiji.

Zena was located about 540km west of Nuku’alofa  at 7am this morning, according to Tonga Met Service Centre at Fu’amotu.

The cyclone has estimated average winds speed of 110km/hr with momentary gust of 155km/hr and is moving east-southeast at 46km/hr.

On its current track, the cyclone is expected to lie about 200km west-northwest of Nuku’alofa or 230km west-northwest of ‘Eua at about 1:00pm this afternoon Thurday 7.

Meanwhile our correspondent in Tonga has reported that clouds spread over most part of Tongatapu and it was rainy in Nuku’alofa.

Facebook users have reported that there was calm in Ha’apai  although there were clouds seen over Lifuka and Foa.

Met said a storm warning remains in force for ‘Eua, Tongatapu and Ha’apai.

A gale warning remains in force for Vava’u.

A strong wind warning remains inforce for Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou.

A heavy damaging swells remains inforce for Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u coastal waters.

A heavy rain warning remains inforce for Tongatapu, Eua,  Ha’apai and Vava’u

A flash flood warning remains in force for Tongatapu,’Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u.

For  Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai:

Expect damaging gale force winds average speed 65-85km/hr (35-45 knots) this afternoon.

Increasing to destructive storm force winds average speed of 110km/hr(60 knots) this evening.

With momenatry gust up to 155km/hr(85knots).period of rain,heavy at times with severe thunderstorms.expect flash flooding in low lying areas including seas flooding.high to very high seas with heavy damaging swell.

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