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Cyclone IAN Leaves Thousands of Tongans Homeless

Posted by feww on January 14, 2014


IAN destroys 75 percent of houses in Pangai, capital of the Haʻapai Group, Tonga

The category 5 tropical cyclone killed at least one person, injuring many leaving thousands of people homeless, as it swept through the Tongan Islands with sustained winds of more than 200 km/h over the weekend.

“The worst affected area was the northern part of the Ha’apai group of islands, with damage to buildings and services such as water, telecommunications and power, said a report.

Cyclone IAN aftermath in Tonga
IAN carves a wide path of destruction on Foa island in Tonga’s Ha’apai group. Image credit: @ProudTongans.

“It was so strong, all the houses gone and it actually lifted cars, lifted cars and moved buses,” said an eye-witness.

On Saturday, IAN  slammed into the northern Tongan islands with sustained winds of 300 km/h destroying or damaging 70% of homes, according to emergency officials.

There are reports of extensive damage also to most of the smaller islands, said officials.

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