Tongan authorities assess damage from cyclone Waka

from Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Published on 02 Jan 2002
Tonga is still trying to asses the damage from Cyclone Waka, which hit the country on New Years Day.

As it moved over southern Tonga late yesterday, Waka damaged homes and crops with winds of more than 100 km/h.

The capital, Nuku'alofa escaped severe damage, although it felt galeforce winds.

The head of Tonga's Disaster Office, Mailu Takai, says it's still too early to say how bad the damage is, but early reports are not encouraging.

Look at this point we haven't confirmed the extend of damages to some of the outer islands because communications is down. We sent out our first team this morning to carry out aerial surveillance. Until then we cannot confirm anything, but it seems bad, especially in the islands of Vava'u. One of the affected islands, according to information received so far was about seventy percent damage for buildings. So it seems very serious. And yes, I think we are going to need overseas assistance.

2/01/02 18:04:50 - ABC Radio Australia News

=A9 ABC 2002

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