12 Jan 2014

Cyclone Ian kills one person in Tonga

9:22 am on 12 January 2014

Reports from Tonga say one person was killed when Tropical Cyclone Ian tore through the Ha'apai islands.

Matangi Tonga reports that there was one fatality on the island of Lifuka which suffered devastation as Cyclone Ian swept through.

Ian has been a Category 5 storm, which is the strongest ever recorded in Tonga, with winds gusting up to 287 kilometres an hour.

Communications have been difficult but initial reports say there has been devastation on Ha'ano, Lifuka and Foa - the three main island in the Ha'apai group.

The cyclone has maintaind its maximum strength but it has been moving away to the southeast of Tonga