Tropical Cyclone Gita caused widespread damage in Samoa, American Samoa, Fiji and Tonga from 10-13 February. Winds topped 230 km per hour by the time the Category 4 storm hit Tonga.
Tongan authorities estimate 78,000 people on Tongatapu and 'Eua are affected. People have been clearing roads blocked by fallen trees and debris. Many homes are badly damaged or collapsed. 70-80% of fruit trees are down. 40-50% of root crops are damaged. 40% of fishing vessels are damaged or lost. The authorities estimate food stocks will last for 4-6 weeks.
Parliament House has collapsed. Flooding is slowly receding but showers make it hard to dry clothing and other possessions.
People are salvaging what they can. Crews are working to clear roads to better assess the situation and reach those in urgent need of help.
In American Samoa, Fiji (Ono-i-lau) and Samoa, the local people are cleaning up the damage.
Our partner Tonga Community Development Trust is planning to help households repair/replace damaged rainwater systems including roofing and establish demonstration plots or community gardens. They will distribute seeds, seedlings and young fruit trees to vulnerable households. Soap and water containers will be distributed to those who have none. They are planning to supply ducks and chickens to some households. Working together on Tongatapu and 'Eua, they will address some of the psychosocial needs after the storm.
With your help, we will find the best way to help some of the many affected families in Tonga.
Thanks to Solomone Savelio, Virgine Dourlet, Tutu on the beach, Rohit Pillay and John Pulu for the images related to the appeal.