Anne Majumdar

Tonga has been left in chaos in the wake of tropical Cyclone Gita as the powerful storm makes its towards Fiji.

The category four cyclone hit wind speeds up to 230 km per hour as it tore through the Pacific island, causing extensive damage and even flattening its Parliament building. Trees were wrenched from the ground, roofs torn off buildings and a black-out left the nation in darkness. There has also been extensive flooding.

Image credit: ABC

Image credit: ABC

No deaths have been confirmed but emergency authorities said about 70% of the population had been affected, the ABC reported. It is believed that 75% of house in Nuku-alofa have been damaged. Food and water look likely to be a major problem.

This chart shows Gita's projected path Image credit: NIWA

This chart shows Gita’s projected path
Image credit: NIWA

The storm is now set to pass to the south of Fiji’s main islands today with the country preparing for the worst.

Travellers are being warned to expect strong winds across the destination with gale force winds likely to cause damage in the eastern and southern areas.

The Fiji Meteorological Service has issued a tropical cyclone alert for Ono-i-lau, Vatoa and Fulaga and nearby islands. But Gita could change path or intensify as it draws closer, it warned.

Director Fiji Meteorological Services Ravin Kumar Image: Fijian Government

Director Fiji Meteorological Services Ravin Kumar
Image: Fijian Government

Travellers are advised to monitor local media and radio broadcasts.

Fiji’s cyclone season normally runs between November and April.

The storm lashed Samoa and American Samoa last week and there are concerns it may head for New Zealand next week.

Do you know people travelling in Tonga or Fiji?