Cyclone Gita heading towards Tonga: Oxfam poised to respond
Oxfam is on standby to respond to Cyclone Gita, as latest forecasts predict the storm could intensify up to a category 5
cyclone before affecting Tonga later tonight.
Up to 70% of the country’s population is at risk with the severe tropical cyclone expected to pass near the populated
main islands of Tongatapu and ‘Eua.
The storm’s impact may also be felt in the low-lying Ha’apai group, where damaging winds, rain and storm surge are
With the country already addressing an outbreak of dengue fever in Tongatapu, the deterioration of sanitation conditions
on the island could increase the risk of a second disaster due to the spread of dengue and other vector and water-borne
Oxfam stands ready to support the Tongan government, which may include mobilising local partners and other emergency
Oxfam, along with its partner the Tongan National Youth Congress (TNYC), has disaster preparedness programmes in Ha’apai
and Vava’u. Oxfam is liaising with TNYC and the Tongan government to prepare for an appropriate and coordinated
Jane Foster, director of Oxfam’s programmes in Tonga, says: “Once the urgent needs are assessed we are expecting to help
coordinate the supply of clean water and sanitation for those affected by the disaster.
“Oxfam has a long-established presence in Tonga and Samoa and we have pre-positioned emergency supplies already
in-country ready to be deployed should they be required.”
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