Tonga declares State of Emergency ahead of TC Gita
February 12, 2018 12:55 am
Tonga’s acting Prime Minister, Semisi Sika, has declared a state of emergency, with the impending arrival of Tropical Cyclone Gita later tonight.
The cyclone is a category four, and on its current track, it is expected to pass close to the main Tongan island of Tongatapu later tonight.
Stuff New Zealand reports that the centre would probably pass just to the south, with the area just to the north exposed to the strongest winds.
It is also reported that Tonga’s Fua’amotu Weather Forecasting Centre said TC Gita was 450km east of Tongatapu at 4am today, moving about west-southwest at about 20 kilometres an hour.
Average wind speeds close to the centre were expected to be over 200kmh by 7pm today.
For Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai, winds were expected to get to 150kmh, with momentary gusts of 185kmh.