Tonga: Cyclone Rene - Feb 2010
Tropical Cyclone Rene, a Category 4 cyclone, struck Tonga on 15 February 2010 with winds of more than 160 kilometres per hour, bringing heavy rain, sea swells and flooding and disrupting electrical and communications services on the islands of Vava'u, Ha'apai and Tongutapu. (WHO, 16 Feb 2010) Food crops were severely affected and more than 127 houses were damaged by the cyclone. (Govt of Tonga, 17 Feb 2010)
Most read reports
- OCHA: Asia-Pacific Region: Natural Disasters and Other Events Being Monitored by the OCHA Regional Office for the Asia-Pasific (as of 17 - 23 Feb 2010). 23 Feb 2010
- OCHA: Asia-Pacific Region: Natural Disasters and Other Events being monitored by the OCHA Regional Office for the Asia-Pacific (as of 10 - 16 Feb 2010). 16 Feb 2010
- OCHA: Pacific Cyclone and Precipitation Outlook 2010-2011. 11 Nov 2010
- IFRC: Pacific region (MAA55001): Revised Plan 2011. 8 Nov 2010
- WHO: Tonga Cyclone Situation Report 1. 16 Feb 2010
The Pacific region covers a vast geographical area comprising thousands of islands and atolls. The majority of Pacific Island countries contend with the challenges of smallness and geographic isolation. The Pacific Island countries are heavily aid-assisted.
*The Pacific region is currently experiencing the weather phenomenon La Niña, which is projected to continue into February - April 2011. La Niña typically affects the distribution of rain and tropical cyclones across the region.
The Pacific region covers a vast geographical area comprising thousands of islands and atolls. The majority of Pacific island countries contend with the challenges of smallness and geographic isolation. The Pacific island countries are the most heavily aid-assisted part of the world on a per capita basis.
This report covers the period 01/01/10 to 30/06/10.
Cross sectoral initiatives during this period include:
- A dialogue with the Pacific Island Forum on potential cooperation initiatives.
- Delivery of the regional Community Resilience Forum, aimed at improving understanding of members in integrated approaches to working with communities.
- A monthly regional newsletter contributed to sharing best practice and improved coordination between Pacific members and Red Cross Red Crescent Movement partners.
- A monthly roster of travel by …
NewZAID updates you in brief on key issues and events on the NZAID programme agenda.
Cook Islands and Tonga battered by cyclones
The Cook Islands and Tonga were hit by Cyclone Pat and Cyclone Rene on 11 February and 14 February respectively, causing significant damage to Aitutaki (Cook Islands) and limited damage throughout Tonga. Penrhyn in the Northern Cook Islands was also affected by storms, with Tropical Depression 11F causing damage to homes and buildings.
A limited number of homes were destroyed by the cyclones while a number of others were damaged.
New Zealand Red Cross aid workers sent to Tonga and the Cook Islands following destructive cyclones returned to New Zealand today (Tuesday).
Douglas Clark, now back in his home town of Dunedin, said Tonga was fortunate to escape serious damage.
"Tonga was very lucky. There was a great danger that this could have been much bigger.
Two New Zealand Red Cross aid workers are cleaning up in the wake of cyclone Pat and Rene.
Dunedin Red Cross veteran Douglas Clark and Clare Shave of Christchurch have arrived in the Pacific to assist with disaster assessment and response and administration and support.
Douglas Clark has reported from Tonga that there is damage to roofs, housing and crops as well as surface flooding.
Officials in Tonga are now warning of food shortages on some islands, in the wake of Cyclone Rene.
The two island groups of Vava'u and Haa'apai were hit by category four Cyclone Rene last week which caused significant damage to crops.
Tonga's Disaster Management Office is predicting food shortages within a month with 95 per cent of fruit cops damaged.
The deputy director, Maliu Takai, says officials from the Disaster Management Office are still on the outer islands assessing the exact extent of the damage.
He says once they have filed their reports the government …
The Royal Governor of the northern Tongan island group of Vava'u says his people definitely need overseas assistance in the wake of Cyclone Rene. Noble Luani says power is starting to be restored, but the damage to crops caused by the high winds is going to be severe. He says with the loss of the inter-island ferry the Princess Ashika recently, Vava'u people are finding it difficult to export their produce, and the cyclone damage is going to make their lives even more difficult.
Incident/Event: Tropical Cyclone Rene
The lights are starting to go back on in Tonga in the wake of Cyclone Rene. The category three storm tore through all three main island groups in the Tonga chain earlier this week, but initial damage reports suggest that damage to the Kingdom was minimal. Although electricity was knocked out in the capital, Nukualofa, essential services such as the hospital and the airport have their own separate generators and never lost power.
Tropical Cyclone Rene struck the Kingdom of Tonga on 15 February with winds of over 160 kilometres per hour, bringing heavy rain, sea swells and flooding and disrupting electrical and communications services on the islands of Vava'u, Ha'apai and Tongutapu. The storm caused widespread damage to crops and buildings before heading to the open sea.
Communications from Tongutapu to the other islands are being restored. Cleanup and assessment operations have begun.
No major damage was sustained by health facilities.
Tonga's National Disaster Management Office says aerial surveillance will be conducted over the southern and central parts of the nation to determine the damage caused by Cyclone Rene.
Fiji's Meterological service says the cyclone which generated winds of up to 160 kilometres an hour on Monday has mainly struck the Ha'apai and northern Vava'u group of Islands.
Government radio in Tonga is reporting in the Ha'apai islands, most fruit trees and many other crops have been destroyed and some buildings have collapsed or been damaged.
Tonga's police commissioner, …
Two New Zealand Red Cross humanitarian aid workers are preparing to fly to the Pacific today to help in the clean up after Tropical Cyclones Pat and Rene.
Douglas Clark, from Dunedin, a veteran of many Red Cross emergencies will be deployed to Tonga for up to three weeks as a disaster assessment specialist to help deliver disaster response after Cyclone Rene.
Clare Shave, of Christchurch, who joined Red Cross teams after the Indian Ocean tsunami and Cyclone Sidr in Bangladesh, will be deployed to Rarotonga today to join Cook Islands Red Cross Society counterparts responding to the …
The RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre are issuing guidance on Cyclone Rene, a tropical cyclone is moving away from Tonga.
Cyclone Rene is located 200 nautical miles (370 km) southwest of Nukualofa this morning.
The RSMC-Nadi Tropical Cyclone Centre and the Joint Typhoon Warning Centre are issuing guidance on Cyclone Rene, a tropical cyclone that lashed American Samoa and now battering Tonga's Central and Southern Groups.
Cyclone Rene is located 50 nautical miles (93 km) southwest of the Vava'u Group or about 115 nautical miles north-northeast of Nukualofa this morning. Cyclone Rene likely has peaked in intensity and is moving southwest at 12 knots.
Tonga's national broadcaster has been staying on air and broadcasting cyclone warnings and information right through the disaster. Radio Tonga says it will stay on air until the danger has passed. However it's possible that communications links between Tonga and the outside world may be interrupted, with the Tonga Communications Corporation warning that high winds may force them to bring down masts which usually carry international phone calls.
By New Zealand correspondent Kerri Ritchie
There has been extensive damage in Tonga after the Pacific Island nation was battered by Cyclone Rene overnight.
A massive clean-up is underway this morning, after the capital Nuku'alofa on the main island of Tongatapu was battered by torrential rain and winds of up to 230 kilometres per hour.
Mango and coconut crops were destroyed by the cyclone, while power lines and trees were brought down.
Tongan police commander Chris Kelley says it was fortunate no one was killed or injured.
"Considerable damage to buildings, roofs …