Tonga - Tropical Cyclone Waka OCHA Situation Report No. 1

Report
from UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
Published on 31 Dec 2001
Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2001/0248
OCHA Situation Report No. 1
Tonga - Tropical Cyclone Waka
30 December - 31 December 2001

This message is not an official hurricane warning or alert for any country.

The Tonga National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) and Fiji Meteorological Service provided the following information, through the OCHA Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific in Suva, Fiji.

Situation in Tonga

1. Tropical Cyclone Waka formed between Samoa and Fiji on 30 December 2001. It strengthened rapidly and moved south to Tonga on 31 December. Average wind speeds on 31 December reached 170 km/hr with momentary gusts over 200 km/hr. At 11.00 UTC the cyclone was located at 18.6 degrees south and 174.3 degrees west or just north-west of Vava'u in Tonga. A hurricane warning remains in force for Vava'u, Ha'apai, Katu and Nomuka island groups.

2. As the Cyclone passed by Niuafo'ou, an island with a population of 800 people, it caused extensive damage to crops and vagetation, but little damage to infrastructure. There are currently no reports of human casualties.

National Response in Tonga

3. Continuous warnings have been issued by the Tonga National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) as the cyclone approached. Tomorrow, 1 January 2001, the Tonga NDMO Disaster Management sub-group will meet to decide whether an assessment mission to Niuafo'ou is required.

4. So far, no state of emergency has been declared and the Tonga Government has not made any request for international assistance.

5. OCHA is in contact with relevant government authorities in Tonga through the OCHA Regional Disaster Response Advisor for the Pacific, and will revert with further information when available.

6. This situation report, together with information on other ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int

Telephone: +41-22-917 12 34
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23
E-mail: ochagva@un.org

In case of emergency only: Tel. +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers:
Mr. J. McGoldrick/Mr. R. Mueller /Mr. S. Matsuka /Mr.K.Quiding
Direct Tel. +41-22-917 17 12/ 31 31 / 40 34/1769

Press contact:
(in GVA) Ms. Elizabeth Byrs, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53
(in N.Y.) Ms. Phyllis Lee, direct Tel. +1-212-963 48 32

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs:

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