Tonga: Cyclone Tino Leaves Trail of Damage through Vava’u and Haa’apai

The South Pacific’s second major cyclone of the season has swept through Fiji and Tonga, leaving a trail of damage from destructive winds, high seas and heavy rain.

Published 3 years ago

Cyclone Tino was a fast moving but destructive cyclone.

Cyclone Tino formed north of the Fijian island of Rotuma and then quickly tracked south east over the islands of Vanua Levu and Taveuni before intensifying into a Category Three cyclone and sweeping through Tonga on the weekend of January 18 and 19.

The Tongan islands of Vava’u and Haa’pai sustained significant coastal damage while Tongatapu, which was closest to the eye of the cyclone, was relatively unscathed as the tail of the cyclone carried more wind and rain than the eye, according to Tonga resident and Noonsite contributor Greg Just.

Greg reported to Noonsite that Ovaka Island had lost its concrete dock, which was a substantial structure.   The Vava’u’s small boat marina, which was an EU funded project, was also destroyed.

No reports of injuries or deaths

“Several docks in Tongatapu Harbour were damaged by boats which broke loose during the storm,  four boats broke free in the Neiaf Harbour and one sank,” he said.   “There were no reports of injury or loss of life, which was amazing considering we experienced wind gusts in excess of 100 knots!

“Several houses fell over and roofing iron was ripped off other houses and there was considerable damage to crops and fruit trees.  However, power to most places was extremely stable with only minor outages due to major work which had been done on the power network by Tongapower with funding from New Zealand after the last major cyclone.”

High seas, strong winds and heavy rainfall were also reported from the islands of Tuvalu, Samoa and Niue.

On the Tuvalu island of Funafuti two giant barges were shunted from their moorings onto the beach.


Noonsite thanks Greg Just from Cafe Tropicana on Neiafu (Vava’u), for providing information for this news item.


Related content:

Tropical Cyclone Sarai Batters Fiji  (December 29,  2019)

Pacific: First Cyclone of the Pacific Season Forms off Fiji (December 26, 2019)

Fiji:  Preparing for the 2019/2020 Cyclone Season (November 26, 2019)

Related reading:

Roads and Crops Damaged by Cyclone Tino – by Radio NZ

Tuvalu inundated by waves from Cyclone Tino – by Radio NZ

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