Cyclone could turn into category 5; heads for Tonga
Cyclone Winston turns back towards Tonga
in Vava'u after Cyclone Winston Photo: Oxfam
Winston has turned back towards Tonga's northern islands and has
intensified into a category four storm.
Fiji Met Service said Winston is currently around 250 kilometres
north-northwest of Niue and 340KM east-southest of Tonga's
director Ravind Kumar said the Tonga's northern islands, particularly
Vava'u, can expect to be hit for a second time by the storm on
Kumar said the storm could strengthen further into a category five
is slow-moving and now trekking westward. We estimate that the
average winds are up to 165 kilometres per hour with momentary gusts
up to 230 kilometres an hour. We expect these winds to increase to
185 kilometres an hour in the next 18 to 24 hours."
Disaster Management authorities in Tonga are currently meeting while
local police report at least 63 families in Vava'u and 35 families in
Ha'apai are already in shelters.
gale warning remains in force for Niue with gusts of up to 90
kilometres an hour.
makes Tonga aid grant
Zealand is providing US$ 39,000 as an initial response to help
emergency personnel on Tonga's northern island group of Vava'u.
was hit by Cyclone Winston on Tuesday night and after a sharp change
in direction in now in the storm's sights again tomorrow.
minister Murray McCully said the aid would help the Tonga National
Emergency Management Office and pay for a chartered flight to Vava'u
to assess damage and to deliver essential supplies such as
tarpaulins, tents and mosquito nets.
flight will also take additional emergency personnel to Vava'u in
preparation for the cyclone's return.
Mccully said New Zealand stands ready to provide further assistance
lines down after Cyclone Winston hit Vava'u Photo: Oxfam
lines down in Vava'u following Cyclone Winston