22 Feb 2010

Housing on Tonga's Eua Island badly damaged by last week's cyclone

8:07 pm on 22 February 2010

Damage to homes from last week's cyclone in Tonga now appears to be worse than first thought and its disaster management office says it may require international assistance.

Cyclone Rene swept through the Kingdom last week and the office's deputy director, Maliu Takai says its now known that 57 houses were destroyed, and 136 damaged on the island of Eua.

He says that adds to the need in Tongatapu where more than 70 homes were damaged and destroyed, and the island groups of Ha'apai and Vava'u where its still unclear how many homes were lost.

He says his office will ask the government to seek tents and tarpaulins from the international community.

"The local resources we have is, I don't think we can manage with that. I think we'll need that for all the islands, Vava'u, Ha'apai, Eua, and also here on the main island. We only have about 150 tents here and its quickly running out."

Maliu Takai says they may also seek assistance for the agriculture sector because of extensive damage to crops.