We're assisting with support and relief in Tonga

Three of our USAR team members are currently in Tonga, supporting the structural assessments of public buildings and lifelines, using remotely piloted aircraft systems (drones) for specific buildings.

The team from Fire and Emergency NZ is part of a multi-agency* deployment to assist with the support and relief from the aftermath of Tropical Cyclone Gita that crossed into Tonga on Monday 12 February 2018.

We are assessing the situation and will update you if any decisions are made about further deployment.

Photo courtesy NZDF

Tropical Cyclone Gita was a category 4 storm when it hit Tonga, with winds over 230 kmh. This severely impacted Tonga with significant building and infrastructure damage, flooding, as well as increased risk of danger to its communities.

Gita has now been downgraded to a category 3 storm, is currently tracking east from Tonga, with its remnants expected to reach New Zealand in about four days.

*Other agencies involved include: NZDF, MCDEM, France-Australian-New Zealand Alliance, Australian DFAT, and Red Cross.

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