17 May 2018

Gita caused $US156 million in damages in Tonga

7:08 am on 17 May 2018

Tonga's Ministry of Finance says February's tropical cyclone Gita inflicted $US156 million worth of damage to the islands of Tongatapu and 'Eua.

The ministry's chief executive Balwyn Fa'otusia said 5,499 properties received minor damage, 1,028 were majorly damaged and 469 houses were completely destroyed.

The destruction left in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

The destruction left in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita. Photo: RNZ / Richard Tindiller

She said the government was providing material and labour for repairs, while about 250 damaged properties are still yet to be fixed.

Matangi Tonga reported the six month emergency period when people can import duty free construction materials, runs for another three months.

Meanwhile the Ministry of Education said 29 school buildings in Tonga will have to be rebuilt.

It said 10 schools with about 1,189 students were still having classes in tents.

Get the new RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs