Meanwhile, former government minister in Tonga said almost all the crops on the island of ‘Eua had been destroyed due the cyclone.
The category four storm went almost directly over ‘Eua which lies just south east of the main island of Tongatapu.
Former ‘Eua MP Sunia Fili said the storm had dealt a huge blow to the local agricultural sector.
“The kava, the cassava and yam too, all the crops near town. Also the breadfruit around in town and the town hall was down and also many small houses. Only the new houses was good but many families are in a very bad situation.”
Sunia Fili said he had never experienced a storm of such intensity.
“I look at my neighbours, most of their houses are down, taking the walls or the upper parts of the house, and I am sure those people they are very sad at this time. They are looking forward for any aid from donors to help them but I can see they are still trying to get something to get in [to shelter].”
According to Sunia Fili, power is out across the entire island.
Local communities ‘devastated’
Local youth worker Vanessa Helot said people in the communities she had visited were absolutely devastated by the damage and destruction to their homes.
“We are seeing shops that the rooftops have been uprooted; all their goods are exposed. We are seeing floods and also a lot of branches and a lot of electric lines. We have talked to some women this morning – their priorities are water, blankets and food.”
She said it would have a huge impact on people’s lives in Tonga.
“It is a big issue because this is their livelihood and it is like we have to start all over again. There is no electricity, there is no water. Not everyone has water tanks [or] has fresh water.”
Nuku’alofa resident Joshua Saveeti described the scene as people in his neighbourhood emerged from their shelters, after what he said was a terrifying night.
” A neighbour just a few houses down, the roof went off, the walls are gone, and all that is left standing there is just all of their furniture and their things.”
The family had evacuated earlier in the day, he said.
“They just got home this morning. We were all walking in and then they saw their house and then, yeah, they just lost it.”
All airports in Tonga closed
All airports in Tonga are currently closed due to damage and disruption following Tropical Cyclone Gita.