5 Mar 2013

Heavy rainfall in Tonga's capital causes flooding

9:43 am on 5 March 2013

In Tonga, heavy rainfall has lashed the capital Nuku'alofa causing widespread flooding in the capital, forcing schools and some businesses to close.

Traffic in and out of the capital slowed as motorists and pedestrians tried to negotiate flooded roads and overflowing drains.

Matangi Tonga online reports the peak of Tonga's 2013 wet season has tested the new multi-million drainage system that was built for the Nuku'alofa's central business district and the surrounding areas.

However the roadworks and new drains are being blamed by the public for worsening the flooding situation in some areas, where in very many places the new roads construction has blocked the flow of water to the sea.

At the same time the drains appear to be channeling flood-waters into properties including homes, businesses and some of the main intersections in the town.

More rain is forecast for Nuku'alofa and the rest of Tongatapu.