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07 Apr 2020 | 12:27 PM UTC

Tonga: Tropical cyclone warning in place for Tongatapu, Ha’apai, and ‘Eua islands April 7

Weather officials issue tropical cyclone warning for Tongatapu, Ha’apai, and ‘Eua islands as of April 7; Tropical Cyclone Harold expected to pass southwest of Tongatapu on April 9

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Event

The Tonga Meteorological Service (TMS) has issued a tropical cyclone warning for Tongatapu, Ha'apai, and 'Eua islands as of Tuesday, April 7, as Tropical Cyclone Harold continues to move toward the islands. As of Tuesday, Tropical Cyclone Harold is not expected to make landfall in Tonga on its current trajectory as a Category 4 cyclone (second-highest on a five-tier scale). Officials expect it to instead pass to the southwest of the main island of Tongatapu, where the capital Nuku'alofa is located, on Thursday, April 9, as a Category 3 storm.

Although the cyclone is not forecast to make landfall, associated flooding, landslides, and transportation and business disruptions are anticipated, as well as disruptions to power and communication services, in the coming hours and days.

Advice

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 - and never drive through flooded streets; floodwater may also contain wastewater and chemical products.