Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Winston Situation Report #1, 16 February 2016

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This situation report released by the National Emergency Management Office is to inform operational partners on current situation of TC Winston. This Situation report covers the period stated above. Frequency of reports will depend on availability of new information and evolving operation.

Highlights:

  • Fua'amotu Tropical Cyclone was activated at 4pm Monday 15 February 2016

  • 6 Tropical Cyclone Advisories have been issued for Tonga since 4pm Monday 15 February 2016

  • Tropical Cyclone Winston (Cat2) 290km west of Nuku'alofa at 4am Tuesday 16 February 2016

  • National Emergency Coordination Centre (NECC) was activated at 11:30pm Monday 15 February 2016

  • District Emergency Management Committees on outer islands were alerted at 11:40pm following the activation of NECC.

  • General Public awareness on TV and radio conducted at 1330Hrs (15th Feb. 2016)

  • National Emergency Management Committee (NEMC) met at 9:00am Tuesday 16 February 2016

  • No major damages reported from ‘Eua, Ha’apai, Vava’u, Niuatoputapu and Niuafo’ou District Emergency Management Committees.

  • Hala Tahi on the Eastern side of Tongatapu experienced sea water flooding.

  • Few fallen trees were reported from Tongatapu with no major damage reported.

Confirmed Fatalities 0

Evacuation Centres 0

Occupants 0

Situation Overview

At 4:00am this morning, Tropical Cyclone Winston category 2 was located near 20.6 South and 177.9 West or about 290km west of Nuku'alofa. The cyclone is moving northeast at about 25km/hr(13knots).On its current track, the cyclone is expected to lie 260km northwest of Nuku'alofa or 150km west-northwest of Kao about 1:00pm this afternoon. Near its centre, the cyclone is estimated to have an average winds speed of 95km/hr (50kts) with momentary gust of 130km/hr (70kts).

Next weather bulletin will be issued at 1000Hrs (10:00am) today (16 Feb 2016).

National Response

NEMO came into operation at 2230hrs (11:30pm) as the cyclone warning was issued on 15 Feb. 2016. Staff contacted the District Emergency Management Committee of Niuafo’ou, Niuatoputapu, Vava’u, Ha’apai and ‘Eua informed them with the current status of TC Winston.

National Emergency Coordination Centre in OG Sanft Building, Nuku’alofa continues to manage and collate information from actors such as Governor’s Office, Police, Armed Force, District and Town officers and Red Cross Representatives.

The National Emergency Management Committee met at 0900Hrs today to look into the Proposed Immediate Relief Response Plan for TC Winston.

Public Awareness

Radio awareness programs were disseminated on the local radios and TV on Monday 15 Feb. 2016. Ongoing awareness and preparedness advises were aired on the AM and FM stations. Live radio interviews were carried out following most of Tropical Cyclone Advisories issued by Tonga Meteorology Services.

MET Services

A total of 6 Tropical Cyclone Advisories (TCA) has been issued by the Meteorology Department of MEIDDEC commencing from 4:30pm of up to 7:10am of 16 February 2016. Meteorological Radio interviews have been done on every TCA on all Radio Tonga AM and FM and FM87.5 by the Director and Senior Meteorologists of the Meteorology Department.

Community Response

Town officers in collaboration and coordination with District Emergency Management Committees in the outer islands are alerting the communities on the current status of TC Winston.

Humanitarian Response

Humanitarian Response will be decided later, depending on the information gathered and the impact of TC Winston.

Leveni ‘Aho

Director,

National Emergency Management Office.