UNFPA PSRO - Tropical Cyclone Gita - Situation Report # 2, 18 February 2018
Tropical Depression (TD07) was named as Tropical Cyclone Gita on 10 February 2018. TC Gita started as a Cat 1 near Wallis and Futuna, passed through Samoa as a Cat 2 on 10 February, Niue on 11 February, Tonga as a Cat 4 on 12 February and the Southern Lau group of Fiji as Cat 4 on February 13.
Significant damages have been reported in Samoa, Tonga and Fiji due to storm surges, flooding and damaging gale force winds. The storm is the worst to hit Tonga in 60 years with widespread destruction of buildings and disruption of water and electricity.
TC Gita passed just south of Samoa as a Cat 2 on 10 February and heavy rainfall led to severe flooding across the country.
The Prime Minister of Samoa made a Declaration of Disaster on 11 February and the National Emergency Operation Center (NEOC) in Samoa has been coordinating the response. 260 IDP’s who were initially evacuated in ADRA Evacuation Centers have all returned to their homes and all EC’s since closed. The estimated number of WRA is 9,338 and 787 pregnant women. This will be the last Sitrep covering Samoa.
TC Gita passed through Tonga as Cat 4 on 12 February just south of the low-lying Tongatapu island group where the country’s most populous island, Tongatapu Island with the capital city Nuku’alofa, and Eua Island are located. The acting Prime Minister of Tonga declared a State of Emergency on 12 February and the area has been devastated with winds of 230km/h flattening parts of Parliament House and causing severe damage and injuries across the kingdom.
The National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) is coordinating the response and has conducted initial needs assessment, estimating that approximately 70% of the population has been impacted. Emergency response teams are struggling to assess damage around Nuku’alofa and the islands due to the debris and downed power lines. At least 80% of electricity network has been damaged, causing power and water shortages in the city. The Vaiola Hospital sustained damages, but power to the hospital has been restored as a priority and is fully operational and well staffed with 59 doctors turning up for duty in addition to nursing staff.
It is estimated that a total of 79,556 people were affected by Tropical Cyclone Gita, with an estimated 4,500 people displaced in evacuation centers, of which at least 45% will need support in water, 25% will need support in sanitation, 100% will require ongoing health and hygiene messaging, as well continuous health services, from primary to secondary health care.