17 Mar 2003

Tourist sites worst affected by cyclone in Tonga

3:26 pm on 17 March 2003

Tonga's disaster management office says two tourist resorts in the western district of Tongatapu have been almost completely destroyed by Cyclone Eseta.

The tropical storm hit Tonga's main island last Thursday with winds of up to 240 kilometres an hour.

The office's acting director, Male'u Takai, says Eseta affected three tourist operations and two are 80 to 90 percent destroyed.

He says most of the accommodation facilities and the main common areas have been wrecked.

And Mr Takai says the Eua island wharf will be out of action for at least two weeks after it was severely damaged.

He says the wharf is about 90 percent destroyed, two port office buildings are damaged and the approach roads are blocked by debris.

Mr Takai says the storm also impacted on fruit tree crops such as banana and breadfruit.