India contributes $1 mn for Tonga devastated by Cyclone Gita

Gita making landfall in South Island

Power to tens of thousands of people was cut as several areas declared a state of emergency and closed roads because of land slips, flooding and fallen trees.

The main low pressure system associated with Ex Tropical Cyclone Gita lies east of the South Island on Wednesday meanwhile another low sits west of the South Island.

Nearly 200 schools were shut, and New Zealand's national airline cancelled all flights to and from the capital, Wellington.

Garry Howard, mayor of Buller, said the storm is expected to hit the district tonight (local time) - it is now 9pm in New Zealand, as the country is 13 hours ahead of GMT.

'The full impact of the storm will be felt overnight and tomorrow morning, ' she said, urging residents of low-lying areas to evacuate. "We are expecting homes to be flooded".


The nation's parliament was destroyed by the storm, which caused extensive damage across the archipelago. The cyclone also hit Fiji, Samoa and American Samoa.

People are being urged to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel. Passengers are still able to fly in and out of Blenheim, Kapiti Coast and Palmerston North airports, but the airline has said it is monitoring the situation. For fruit growers in the region, flood waters and winds could cause concern at the start of the season.

India in contributing $1 million for relief efforts in the Pacific Ocean Kingdom of Tonga that was devastated by Cyclone Gita last week, according to the UN.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that military had been deployed to areas likely to be worst hit and the country's national Civil Defence and Emergency Management office in Wellington was on standby to help local authorities.

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