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09 Apr 2020 | 12:57 AM UTC

Tonga: Power outages reported following passing of Tropical Cyclone Harold April 9 /update 2

Tropical Cyclone Harold to coincide with high tide April 9; heavy rain, rough seas, landslides, flooding, high waters, storm surge, and lingering disruptions expected



Power outages were reported across the island of Tongatapu on Thursday, April 9, following the passing of Tropical Cyclone Harold. Reports suggest that fallen trees have blocked a number of roads, prompting authorities to cut local power supply while clearing operations occur. Cyclone Harold also produced high tides which led to damage and disruption at a number of coastal locations, including Hihifo. On Wednesday, April 8, the government of Tonga declare a second state of emergency ahead of anticipated disruption caused by the cyclone. There are currently no reports of injuries or fatalities linked to the passing of the cyclone.

Although the Tongan Meteorological Service canceled storm warnings issued for the Tongatapu and 'Eua areas, extreme high tide warnings remain in place for the entire country until Saturday, April 11. The gale warning which remains in place for Ha'apai and Vava'u and has been extended to Tongatapu and 'Eua, and a strong wind warning remains active for Niua. Authorities have warned the public to remain away from coastal areas until the cyclone has completely passed. Tropical Cyclone Harold is currently moving away from the Tonga island group and is currently sustaining winds of 269 km/h (179mph).


Individuals in the affected areas are advised to monitor local weather reports, adhere to instructions issued by local authorities, anticipate adverse weather and power and transportation disruptions, and remember that running water can be dangerous - 15 cm (6 in) is enough to knock over an adult.