2014 was a year of extreme weather events for Tonga. Starting with the Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian, which devastated Ha’apai on January 11 and killed one person, the year ended with a severe drought for Tongatapu and an El Nino warning for the whole of Tonga.
January’s images of destruction from Ha‘apai, and the massive relief effort that was required, came in a year when the region hosted the SIDS conference, where Pacific island leaders talked about climate change and its impact on small island states. The environment and food security are increasingly in the news.
2014 was also an elections year in which Tongan voters replaced of their Members of Parliament, who elected a new Prime Minister.