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Cyclone Lola shakes the mangoes

Nuku'alofa, Tonga


Cyclone Lola shakes the mango trees.

Cyclone Lola brought strong winds to Tonga overnight damaging trees and bringing down fruit.

Lola began as a tropical depression located at 2 p.m. on January 31, some 500km to the West South West of Vava'u moving South East at 15 knots with a wind force of about 80km per hour.

By yesterday evening the Tropical Depression, had turned into Tropical Cyclone Lola still moving southward, bringing gusty strong winds and squally heavy rains to Tongatapu, throughout the night inflicting damage to trees, and bringing heavy windfalls of fruit, especially mangoes, tava, breadfuit and avocados, as well as bananas. Tongatapu is having its first bumper mango season since 1998 and the winds left carpets of mangoes under the trees.

By 11.00 am this morning Cyclone Lola was located 300km to the south-south west of Tongatapu, and was moving south east at about 10 knots, away from Tonga. By mid-day the wind had died down.

Despite the windfalls there were still plenty of mangoes left on some trees, but unripe breadfruit, avocados, tava, and bananas were lost.