Tropical Cyclone Winston intensifies

(Fiji Metservice)
(Fiji Metservice)

Tropical Cyclone Winston has intensified into a Category 3 storm, according to the Fiji Metservice.

Yesterday, the storm caused flooding in the Tongan capital Nuku’alofa when it passed over the main island of Tongatapu, as well in the popular tourist destination of Vava’u and the Ha’apai island group.

Forecasters say the cyclone has now headed out to sea but is expected to make a U-turn later today – heading back towards Tonga.

Gusts of around 130km/h have already been recorded in Vava’u.

In January, 2014, one person was killed and more than 4,000 people were displaced after Category 4 storm, Cyclone Ian, made landfall on Tonga’s Ha’apai island group.

The tropical cyclone season runs from November to April.