Media Statement

The damage to Tonga’s economy and people’s homes is clear. Power supplies and
communications services have been extensively interrupted in the islands. Many local businesses and public offices remain closed. The damage to fruit trees and agricultural crops is substantial.

According to the Government of Tonga’s latest situation report of 17 February 2018 there are 4,521 evacuees in 108 evacuation centres. Over 1,550 houses have been damaged.

“I was impressed by the incredible sense of community and resilience of the people of Tonga. I
have seen women and men working together and clearing roads and yards in an effort to resume their daily routine as soon as possible”, said Ms. Lubrani.

Ms Lubrani added that “disasters disproportionately affect children, women and girls, young
people, persons living with disabilities and other vulnerable populations. It is important that the
Government-led response in Tonga reaches communities with life-saving services and equipment to rebuild their and their families’ lives with dignity, while ensuring that the needs of vulnerable populations are prioritized in these efforts.”