26 Feb 2018

Tonga broadcaster in need of help after Gita

10:11 am on 26 February 2018

Tonga's state broadcaster is in need of government assistance in order to return to full operations after Cyclone Gita.

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Photo: RNZI / Koro Vaka'uta

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission's acting general manager, Solomone Finau, said the station suffered damage to equipment and its studios during the storm.

Mr Finau said the TBC suffered more than 160-thousand US dollars worth of damage.

The TBC has been under constant scutiny for its flagging revenue and has recently been restructured but the general manager still hopes to get some financial help from the government.

According to Mr Finau, the TBC is an important tool of communication and warning for people during the storm but also before an adverse impacts are even felt.

"One of the processes of government [is] to make awareness before, during and after the storm," he explained.

"So I think we did our part, we did good and the public was well aware. I think this was better than the last one in Ha'apai, Cyclone Ian.

"The people were well prepared by listening to radio programmes and talk-back shows from government."

The big challenge is to restore power to Tonga again.

The big challenge is to restore power to Tonga again. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller