New Caledonia, Vanuatu, Fiji, Tonga – Tropical Cyclone Gita Update (GDACS, JTWC, Meteo France Nouvelle-Caledonie, COGIC, PDC, OCHA, Tonga National Emergency Management Office) (ECHO Daily Flash of 15 February 2018)
Tropical Cyclone GITA continued moving south-southwest away from Fiji and Tonga. On 15 February at 0.00 UTC, it was located 460 km south-east of Aneityum island (Vanuatu) and had maximum sustained winds of 194 km/h.
GITA is forecast to pass approximately 300-350 km south of Tafea group of Islands (Vanuatu) on 15 February and 200-230 km south of New Caledonia on 16 February. Heavy rain, strong winds and storm surge could affect these areas. Local authorities in New Caledonia have issued a Tropical Cyclone pre-alert.
According to media, as of 15 February at 7.00 UTC, in Tonga one person died, 33 people were injured, 4 500 people were moved into 108 evacuation centres and over 2 700 houses were damaged in the two worst affected islands of Tongatapu and 'Eua (Tonga). In Fiji, media reported no casualties or injuries. The population of Ono-i-Lau (around 470 people) was evacuated into several evacuation centres inside the island.