Disaster assessment teams in Tonga say water, shelter and food, are the immediate needs for people still reeling from the destruction, brought about by Tropical Cyclone Gita overnight.
Local and international NGOs are working with the National Emergency Management Office, to try and gauge the extent of the damage on the main island of Tongatapu, which hosts the capital Nuku’alofa, as well as the nearby island of Eua.
On Tongatapu, the category four cyclone brought winds of over 233km/hr, which ripped rooves off homes, brought down trees, destroyed a Catholic church, and took the Tongan Met Office and the national radio station – off line.
All airports in Tonga are currently closed, due to damage and disruption following Tropical Cyclone Gita.
Power and water supplies were out in Nuku’alofa, and not even tank water was likely to be available, because many tanks had been blown over.