A Category 4 cyclone swept through the island kingdom of Tonga Monday, and now residents and officials are working to assess the damage from the ravages of wind and water that continue to move through the South Pacific.
The U.S. Joint Typhoon Warning Center reported maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour during the storm, and a state of emergency has been declared in Tonga.
When the storm made landfall in Tonga, the torrential rains had already caused damage in Samoa and American Samoa.
Direct Relief emergency response staff are currently reaching out to local healthcare partners and authorities and will respond as needs become known.
The eyewall of Category 4 Tropical Cyclone Gita hammered the largest islands of Tonga late Monday and early Tuesday. Nearly every home in Tonga was damaged by the storm, according to emergency officials. Emergencies have been declared in Tonga and American Samoa.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Tropical Cyclone Gita hammered the tiny South Pacific island nation of Tonga with Category 4 intensity in what may be the most powerful tropical cyclone in memory to strike the islands, the Weather Channel reported.