Humanitarian Response to Cyclone Ian in Tonga

A state of emergency remains in effect for the Vava’u and Ha’apai group of islands in the Kingdom of Tonga four days after Tropical Cyclone Ian made landfall as a category five tropical cyclone.

The Government continues to collect and analyse assessment data and is starting to release information. Figures indicate that of Ha’apai’s 1,130 affected buildings, 545 (51 per cent) have been destroyed, 398 (34 per cent) have been majorly damaged and 187 (15 per cent) have minor damage.

Around 2,000 people remain displaced in formal evacuation centres with sanitation a key concern. It is likely that more people are displaced to informal shelters throughout the affected areas. Representatives from the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and Tonga Red Cross Society (TRCS) visited all evacuation centres today. In addition to the 11 formal evacuation centres in schools and churches, there are reports of some 40 informal shelters housing displaced families.

Around 400 – 500 tents have been distributed primarily by the TRCS. Water has also been delivered and TRCS is issuing blankets, mosquito nets and hygiene kits. The Ministry of Education and Training (MET) has assessed 17 primary and secondary schools in Ha’apai, with 13 having major damage, such as missing roofs and demolished classrooms. The Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Forests and Fisheries (MAFFF) has completed its rapid assessment and is analyzing data. MAFFF is next preparing to conduct a detailed assessment on damage to crops, vegetation, livestock and farm assets.

OCHA continues to map assessment information to assist NEMO and partners identify areas of need. Food aid is being coordinated through NEMO, however crop damage has been identified as a medium to long-term issue. Digicel Tonga has restored communications for mobile phone and internet, and also set up phone recharging stations in communities. Tonga Communication Corporation has restored its mobile network in Pangai, with other areas to follow. Tonga Tropical Cyclone Ian Situation Report No. 2 | 2

United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Coordination Saves Lives | Tonga Power reports that 95 per cent of the electricity supply network has been destroyed and will take months to be repaired. The main hospital is operational, but is still without a reliable power supply. A backup generator has been sent, along with a medical team to provide additional support.

Health and hygiene messages are being communicated over radio and UNICEF leaflets will be included in hygiene kits distributed by TRCS. On Tuesday, Oxfam New Zealand (NZ) sent an emergency response team to Tonga to assist with water, sanitation, livelihoods and food, and a NZ Red Cross delegate has arrived to support TRCS. Rotary has donated 260 Emergency Response Kits, which will be sent to Ha’apai by the weekend.