13 Mar 2018

Tonga extends State of Emergency following Cyclone Gita

5:40 am on 13 March 2018

Tonga Prime Minister, 'Akilisi Pohiva, has announced that a state of emergency, in force for the past month, will be extended a further four weeks.

Tongatapu following Cyclone Gita

Tongatapu following Cyclone Gita Photo: New Zealand High Commisson in Tonga

The state of emergency was declared when Cyclone Gita hit the country on 12 February causing widespread damage on Tongatapu and Eua.

The Tonga Government says it is "still necessary for emergency powers to be exercised in order to prevent or minimise the loss of human life, illness or injury, property loss or damage, or damage to the environment".

It is due to end on 9 April.

Meanwhile, the cost of the damage to Tonga's agricultural sector from when Cyclone Gita hit has been put at $US152 million.

This was revealed by the chair of the standing committee for Agriculture and Fisheries, Losaline Ma'asi, during a parliamentary debate today.

In a separate matter, Niua MP Vatau Hui, raised concerns in parliament at the lack of flights to the two islands.

Radio Tonga reported there had been no flight to the Niuas for about two months and some teachers from Niua are stranded in Tongatapu wanting to get home.

And Mr Hui said a person on Niuatoputapu has been waiting to be airlifted to Tongatapu for medical care.

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