Tonga cleans up after cyclone

Tonga cleans up after cyclone
There has been extensive damage in Tonga after the Pacific Island nation was battered by Cyclone Rene overnight, MiNDFOOD reports.

A massive clean-up is underway this morning, after the capital Nuku’alofa on the main island of Tongatapu was battered by torrential rain and winds of up to 230 kilometres per hour.

Mango and coconut crops were destroyed by the cyclone, while power lines and trees were brought down.

Tongan police commander Chris Kelley says it was fortunate no one was killed or injured.

“Considerable damage to buildings, roofs have been ripped off, windows blown out,” he said.

“We evacuated about 25 families overnight just to ensure they weren’t affected by the flooding.”

Mr Kelley says authorities will fly over the area to assess the damage.

“We’ve had widespread damage here to crops and vegetation, there’s been considerable damage to buildings,” he said.

“Power has been out all night. Whether or not it is long-lasting remains to be seen, but it has certainly been extensive overnight.”

The New Zealand Met Service says the cyclone is now moving further south.

© 2010 Australian Broadcasting Corporation

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