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Tearfund Preparing Communities for Cyclone Gita

Published: Mon 12 Feb 2018 03:17 PM
Tearfund Preparing Communities for Cyclone Gita
New Zealand aid and development NGO, Tearfund, is working through partners in Tonga to prepare communities as Tropical Cyclone Gita threatens to make landfall as a category four or five storm.
“Communities on the main island of Tongatapu are low lying, making them vulnerable to flooding from rain and sea surges,” says Ian McInnes, Tearfund CEO and Chair of the Council for International Development.
“If Gita makes landfall as a category five cyclone, we would expect houses to be destroyed along with damage to coastal roads and crops, meaning people would lose their livelihoods.
Tearfund’s partner in Tonga is putting together emergency packs for families, preparing houses, and equipping evacuation centres with supplies. Our humanitarian specialists are also preparing to coordinate and implement an aid response if one is needed.”
Tearfund’s partner ‘Ola Fou’ works in disaster risk reduction and youth leadership training in six countries across the Pacific, including Tonga.
The UN’s World Risk report lists Tonga as the second-most disaster-prone country in the world, after Vanuatu. The report takes into account the likelihood of a natural disaster as well as the preparedness of a country for dealing with one.
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