14 May 2012

People urged to consider flooding when building in Nuku' alofa

7:19 pm on 14 May 2012

The acting director of Tonga's National Disaster Office says people building new houses in the capital need to ensure their houses are high enough to avoid being flooded.

Heavy rain as a result of Cyclone Jasmine's passage over Tonga in February caused severe flooding in Nuku'alofa, which Leveni Aho says was exacerbated by poor drainage.

He says 34 houses were flooded and although remedial drainage work is underway, the construction of new houses must take into account the town's low-lying aspect.

"But we are expanding our - we are getting the roads improved - most fo the rural roads in Nuku'alofa have now got road access so for them to build in the future it's recommended that they build it no lower than the street level."

Leveni Aho says fortunately Cyclone Jasmine was only at category one, the lowest category, when it passed over Tonga and so didn't cause much damage other than flooding.