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Tropical depression dumps rain in Tongatapu

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Hala'ovave, Tongatapu. 6 April 2016.

Fua’amotu weather station recorded 100.3mm of rain in 24-hours, the highest rainfall dumped on Tongatapu so far this month, during Tropical Depression 15F, which brought gale warnings for Tongatapu and 'Eua last night, and was cancelled as the system moves away from Tonga today.

The Fua’amotu Weather Forecasting Centre from 1:00pm yesterday, Tuesday 5 April to 1:00pm today recorded 100.3mm in Fua'amotu and 7.8mm in Vava'u.

Ha’apai had 25.6mm of rain with no rain in Niuatoputapu and no report from Niuafo'ou over the same period.

Some known low-lying areas in Tongatapu, like the Hala’ovave settlement experienced the ongoing problem of flooding of their homes and roads overnight, where roads turned into rivers.

Swamp piglets. Hala'ovave, Tongatapu. 6 April 2016.

The highest rainfall recorded in a 24-hour period so far this year was 293.8mm in Vava’u during Tropical Cyclone Winston.

Strong wind

At 1:00pm, the Forecasting Centre issued that the strong wind warning remained in force for Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u with heavy damaging swells for coastal waters on all these four islands.

Tropical Depression 15F lies to the far south-south east of Tongatapu and ‘Eua continues to move southeast further away from Tonga. Occasional showers and strong winds may continue to affect Tongatapu, ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u.

Meanwhile, second tropical depression in Fiji waters has developed into Tropical Cylone Zena and is being monitored as it moves toward Tongan waters.