Tropical cyclone alert remains in force for Tonga with gale and heavy seas warnings

Tonga is bracing for gale force winds and heavy seas on the first day of the New Year.

The Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre said this evening that at 5pm a tropical depression was located 1080km west- northwest of Niuafo’ou and moving east-southeast at 16 knots/30kph.

It said tropical depression is now enforced for Vava’u land areas.

A heavy rain warning and flash flood advisory remains in force for Ha’apai and is now in force for the Niuas, Vava’u , Tongatapu and ‘Eua land areas. 

Strong wind warning is now in force for Ha’apai.

On its present course it is expected to turn into a tropical cyclone by tomorrow.

There is a gale warning for Niuafo’ou and Niuatoputapu. Warnings of  gale force winds and heavy damaging swell remains in force for the Niuas coastal waters.

Heavy rain and flash flood warnings have been made for Ha’apai, the Niuas, Vava’u , Tongatapu and ‘Eua.           

In the Niuas winds are expected to reach 35-40 knots (60-70 kph) with gusts of up to 48 knots (90kph) from tonight and tomorrow morning.

For Vava’u and Ha’apai, winds are expected to reach 20-25 knots (35-45 kph) by tomorrow morning.

For Tongatapu and ‘Eua winds are expected to be 20-25 knots (35-45 kph) by tomorrow afternoon.

The next cyclone warning will be issued at 1am tomorrow.

Cyclones in 2018

Last year Tonga was affected by three cyclones.

Gita, which struck Tonga on was the worst.

Two people died during the category four cyclone, including an elderly woman who was in her house when it was blown away.

Police also confirmed three major injuries and 30 minor injuries on Tongatapu as a result of Gita.

Gita flattened Parliament House, brought down power lines and caused widespread destruction in the kingdom. In March Tonga was also affected by category one cyclone Josie. In April the kingdom was affected by category three cyclone Keni.

Both cyclones caused about $5 million damage in Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga.

The main points

  • Tongan residents have been warned to prepare for gale force winds and heavy seas as a tropical depression moves towards the kingdom.
  • The Fua’amotu tropical cyclone warning centre said this evening that at 5pm the depression was located 1080km west- northwest of Niuafo’ou and moving east-southeast at 16 knots/30kph.
  • On its present course it is expected to turn into a tropical cyclone by tomorrow.

For more information

Fiji Met service

http://www.met.gov.to/

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