5 Mar 2013

Families evacuated as flooding affects Tonga capital

12:35 pm on 5 March 2013

Three families have spent the night in emergency accommodation in Tonga after heavy rain submerged low lying areas of the capital, Nuku'alofa, with up to half a metre of water.

The Director of the National Emergency Management Office, Leveni Aho, says officials are out assessing the damage but the flooding is no worse than what usual happens when Tonga has severe weather.

Matangi Tonga reports some members of the public as saying a new drainage system is responsible for the severity of the flooding.

Mr Aho says that there is a slight issue with drainage, but that is now being addressed.

"It's still a work in progress and because of the very little elevation in Nuku'alofa, it takes time for water to flow. The drainage work has not been completed in all areas, but they're still working on that."

Leveni Aho says he expects the flooding to start to ease today.