16 Feb 2010

Tonga's Disaster Management Office sends out assessment teams

12:27 pm on 16 February 2010

Tonga's Disaster Management Office has now sent out teams to areas affected by Cyclone Rene to officially assess the damage.

The cyclone hit Tonga's Vava'u group before battering Ha'apai in the afternoon and the main island of Tongatapu last night.

Disaster officials have met this morning to discuss the issue and the office's deputy director, Maliu Takai, says teams will now gather information about the extent of the damage.

But Mr Takai says the cyclone seems to have caused less damage than expected.

"Generally, the situation does not need any humanitarian response. There was also no loss of life or injuries and the damage to infrastructure apart from the power supply and and perhaps the agricultural sector, the food supply, was minimal."

He says police have cleared away debris and trees on about 90 percent of the roads on Tongatapu.

The teams are set to report back tonight and deliver a report to cabinet tomorrow.