Fairfax Media Network

Weather News

Tonga prepared for possible cyclone

Monday January 14, 2013 - 21:43 EDT

Tonga is gearing up for a possible cyclone as a tropical depression heads for the centre of the island chain.

Forecasters say it may develop into a cyclone in the next day or so.

Acting Prime Minister, Samiu Vaipulu, told Radio Australia says there's a good chance a tropical depression will pass by the island chain without strengthening into a cyclone.

Mr Vaipulu says there'll be another meeting of Tonga's National Emergency Management Office in the morning to discuss any developments overnight.

He says although the news is good, the tropical depression is still out there and it could turn around, gather strength and come back.

And the government is preparing in case the worst does happen.

"We are starting to identify evacuation centres... We'll start announcing which places to go to and things like that if this develops into a tropical cyclone." he said.

Mr Vaipulu says weather information and a warning on the possible threat started on radio and television on Sunday.

National Emergency Management Office Director, Leveni Aho told Radio Australia forecasters expect the weather front to move over Tonga late on Tuesday afternoon.

But he says the authorities are on standby.

"We have alerted most of the utilities, the police force, Tonga Defence Services, Tonga Red Cross and all the associated agencies that deal with disaster management." he said.

Mr Aho says no public warnings have been issued as the depression has not yet formed into a cyclone.


- ABC

© ABC 2013

More breaking news

ABC News
Sydney Morning Herald
National Nine News
News Limited

Display Your Local Weather

Weather News

NSW Upper Western wades through a wet winter

17:44 EST

Much of the state has seen great rainfall over winter, with only the north and central coast missing out.

Snow falls on WA's Bluff Knoll for second time in weeks

17:21 EST

Snow has fallen in Western Australia's Stirling Ranges, including Bluff Knoll, for the second time in a matter of weeks, after a chilly night in the Great Southern.

First day of spring: Change of seasons springs to life in photos

16:20 EST

Amateur photographers have been all too happy to bid farewell to winter in stunning style, capturing picture-perfect shots of the first day of spring from around the country.