3 Mar 2014

Tropical cyclone Kofi moving away from Tonga, but warning still in force

7:55 am on 3 March 2014

A tropical cyclone warning is still in force for Tonga, with category-one cyclone Kofi slowly moving away from the country on Sunday afternoon.

Tropical cyclone Kofi was 120 nautical miles south-southeast of Nuku-alofa at 2pm UTC on Sunday.

Matangi Tonga reported that the cyclone brought heavy rain and gusts of up to 90 kilometres per hour, causing broken branches and sea flooding but no major damage.

A gale warning is in force for the Tongatapu group and a strong wind warning for the rest of the country.

Extreme high tides are also expected on Monday and Tuesday.

Many Ha'apai families are still living in tents after Cyclone Ian hit the group in January, and Tonga's National Emergency Management Office had concerns they would not have stood up to the winds forecast for Cyclone Kofi over the weekend.