Keni damages hospital, delays flights, but Tonga escapes major damage

Hao pe ‘a Tongatapu ‘ikai ha maumau lahi mei he Saikolone ko Keni ‘a ia kuo ne mavahe atu mei he fonua. Na’e maumau’i ‘e he matangi ‘a e falemahaki ‘o ‘Eua pea lavelavea lahi ha toko taha. Pehē ‘e he talēkita NEMO Lēveni ‘Aho ne tuku hifo ‘e Keni ha ngaahi uaea ‘uhila ‘i ‘Eua mo e konga ‘o Tongatapu, ka ‘oku ‘i ai ‘a e ‘amanaki ‘e vave ni pe ha’ane ulo ‘i ha ngaahi ‘aho.

Tonga’s main island has escaped major damage from Cyclone Keni, which is expected to weaken as it moves south-southwest of the kingdom.

The cyclone damaged ‘Eua hospital and one person sustained minor injuries.

National Emergency Management Director Lēveni ‘Aho said Cyclone Keni brought down power lines on ‘Eua and some parts of Tongatapu, but power was expected to be restored within the next few days.

A few houses are believed to have been damaged at Angahā.

Tonga’s Meteorological and Coast Radio Services said at midday today that Keni was located 415 km south of Nuku’alofa, moving southeast at 43 kph, with average wind speeds of 110 kph.

Heavy wind warnings remained in effect for Tele-Ki-Tonga and Tele-Ki-Tokelau, while a strong wind warning was in effect for Vava’u and Ha’apai. A heavy rain and flash flood warning was also in effect for Vava’u, Tongatapu, and ‘Eua.

Heavy rains, strong winds, and rough seas are forecast to affect Tele-Ki-Tonga and Tele-Ki-Tokelau tomorrow (Thursday).

The cyclone has caused major disruption to flights across the Pacific, with passengers flying to and from Tonga today being delayed by more than nine hours on both outbound and inbound legs between Nuku’alofa and Auckland.

Air New Zealand’s flight to Apia tomorrow is expected to be delayed by four hours. The longest delay was almost a day for a flight from Auckland to Houston, Texas.

The cyclone caused flooding and structural damage in Fiji, especially on Kadavu where houses were demolished, trees uprooted and boats capsized.

Cyclone Keni is expected to merge with another low that is currently developing over the North Island of New Zealand, forming a cyclone around the Chatham Islands.

The main points

  • Tonga’s main island has escaped major damage from Cyclone Keni, which is expected to weaken as it moves south-southwest of the kingdom.
  • The cyclone damaged ‘Eua hospital and one person sustained minor injuries.
  • National Emergency Management Director Leveni ‘Aho said Keni brought down power lines on ‘Eua and some parts of Tongatapu, but power is expected to be restored within the next few days.

For more information

Tonga’s ‘Eua without power after Cyclone Keni

Air New Zealand travel alerts

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