13 Feb 2018

Cyclone Gita wreaks havoc, Tonga faces major damage

From Morning Report, 7:11 am on 13 February 2018

Tropical cyclone Gita has wreaked havoc in Tonga hitting Tongatapu and the capital Nuku'alofa as a category 4 storm. American scientists monitoring the wind speed say it had sustained winds over 233km/h.

There are unconfirmed reports two people have been killed. Roofs have been torn off houses, a Catholic church has been destroyed, and the cyclone took the Tongan Met Office and the national radio station off line.

As dawn arrives emergency services are heading out to assess the damage. Guyon Espiner talks to RNZ's correspondent in Nuku'alofa, John Pulu.