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Outbreak of chikungunya virus affects 10,000 people in Tonga

Tongan health authorities say there's been an outbreak of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus affecting more than 10,000 people across the country.

It's the first time Tonga has had an outbreak of the virus, which causes acute fever and joint pain.

The director of Tonga's ministry of health Dr Siale Akau'ola is urging people to take the necessary precautions.

"Clearly with the quick spread it means that the mosquitos are still around," he told Pacific Beat.

Australian Broadcasting Corporation:

© ABC

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Rebuilding Tsunami-Affected Homes in Remote Islands of Tonga

Report
World Bank

Following a devastating tsunami in 2009 in Tonga’s outermost island group, the Niuas, the World Bank worked with the community to rebuild homes, as well as critical rural roads. Now living in disaster-proofed houses and safer locations away from the coast, communities feel more secure as they recover from the impact of the disaster.

Challenge

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Agreement signed for recovery work in Ha’apai

(Nuku’alofa, Tonga) – The Government of Tonga and the United Nations Development Programme today signed an agreement for recovery efforts and to strengthen preparedness for future cyclone impacts following Tropical Cyclone Ian which devastated the islands of Ha’apai in January.

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European Union contributes towards rehabilitation work in Tonga

The European Union (EU) is channeling 50,000 Tongan Pa’anga to the Government of Tonga. This is to contribute to the relief efforts in the parts of the country devastated by Cyclone Ian.

The Ha'apai Islands in Tonga are among the most severely hit, with housing, infrastructure and crops suffering serious damage.

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Solomon Islands + 1 other
Solomon Islands: Flash Floods Situation Report No. 1 (as of 7 April 2014)

The Government and aid agencies are working together to support 10,000 people in 24 evacuation centers, many of which are over-crowded.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit http://unocha.org/.

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4th Update - Flood Mitigation: Atenisi Area, Kolomotu’a

07 April 2014The effects of NEMO’s flood mitigation operation in the Atenisi area are clearly visible. The entrance way which was previously below the level of the water is now dry. Grass is re-appearing on the school campus.

Work on the operation will cease tonight (3 April). While there are still some pockets of residual water in the area, the resources of Tonga Fire and NEMO have been stretched significantly – covering three rotations each 24 hours. The situation will be re-assessed in the next two to three days.

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Safety and Protection Assessment - TC Ian - Ha'apai, Tonga (January - February 2014)

Extract:

This report contains the findings of the Safety and Protection Assessment on the impact of Tropical Cyclone Ian in Ha’apai; including analysis of the particular issues affecting vulnerable groups at the time of assessment, as well as of the strengths, gaps and mainstreaming issues associated with the national and international response. It also contains specific recommendations for response and early recovery, both for standalone protection activities and for protection mainstreaming by clusters.

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His Majesty King Tupou VI launches new water system for Hihifo District

While having access to water may seem a basic human right for some, for the six villages of the Upper Hihifo District in Tongatapu, Tonga having access to water was a struggle, until now that is.

The Pacific Adaptation to Climate Change (PACC) Project in Tonga has brought about a new water supply system for over 2,000 residents in Hihifo which was launched in Tonga by His Majesty, King Tupou VI.

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Lessons learnt by Tonga Met Service after Cyclone Ian

Meteorological term today: Severe Tropical Cyclone - is one that reaches Categories 4 - 5. Cyclone strength is measured in terms of wind speed. If the sustained wind speed, this is continued wind speed and not the sudden gusts of wind, from 160 km/h to over 200 km/h then they are categorised as Category 4 or 5.

4 April 2014, Rarotonga Cook Islands - Cyclone Ian, a category 5 Tropical Cyclone, passed over Tonga in January this year leaving behind USD 120 million in damages, one fatality and the complete destruction of 564 homes on the island of Ha'apai.

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Red Cross says will work with government over Ha'apai rebuild

The head of Tonga's Red Cross says two new houses built on cyclone devastated Ha'apai are part of a pilot project but if the government is not happy to go ahead with more homes the agency will refocus.

Read the full article on Radio New Zealand International

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Flood Response and Mitigation - Atenisi Area, Kolomotu’a

30 March 2014 NEMO’s flood response and mitigation operation in the Atenisi area in Kolomotu’a commenced at 15.00 hrs on 28 March 2014. By 09.00 this morning (29 March), it is estimated that 725,000 litres of water were pumped out of the area.

The operation is based at the Atenisi Community School where two pumps are being used to pump the water into the sea some 700 metres away. NEMO requested the Town Officer of Kolomotu’a to mobilise community support for the operation and the response has been very positive, e.g. in assisting at points where vehicles cross over hoses.

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First to benefit from Pacific Risk Insurance payout

Programme highlights how sovereign disaster risk transfer can close the financial gap to help communities bounce back.

On 11 January, the category 5 Cyclone Ian swept across the island of Tonga killing one person, displacing thousands and causing tremendous devastation to crops and infrastructure.

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World + 13 others
US Government Launches Grant Program to Support Climate Change Initiatives in the Pacific Islands Region

The U.S. Government today launched the five-year Pacific-American Climate Fund in Suva to help communities in Pacific Island countries adapt to effects of climate change.

The US$24-million (approx. FJ$44 million) grant program will provide grants to qualifying civil society organizations (CSOs) which will implement climate change adaptation activities in twelve countries in the Pacific: Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI), Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

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Tonga + 5 others
Disaster Insurance on the Agenda in the Pacific

Report
World Bank

NUKU’ALOFA, Tonga, March 24, 2014 --- Representatives of Cook Islands, Fiji, Samoa, Tonga, and Vanuatu attended a regional workshop last week on 20-21 March in Tonga to discuss the future of Disaster Risk Financing and Insurance (DRFI) in the region. The workshop was opened by Tonga’s Minister of Finance, Hon. Dr. ‘Asiake Valu Eke and closed by Tonga’s Deputy Prime Minister, Hon. Samiu Vaipulu and His Excellency the Ambassador of Japan to Tonga.

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Cyclone-affected islands in Tonga receive assistance

Climate-resilient crops established by Tonga’s Ministry of Agriculture were recently shipped to islands in Ha’apai affected by tropical Cyclone Ian in January this year.

Sione Foliaki, Deputy Director and Head of Agricultural Research and Information Division of the Ministry of Agriculture, said, ‘This is the worst cyclone ever to hit Tonga. All the crops are destroyed so food crops are needed most now by the people of Ha'apai.’

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World Bank pledges US$8 million for Tonga rebuild after Cyclone Ian

The World Bank has promised Tonga more than 8 million US dollars to help build temporary homes for families affected by Cyclone Ian.

Read the full article on Radio New Zealand Internation