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Strong wind warnings for northern Tonga

Nuku'alofa, Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Amos is still intensifying and on its current track, the Cyclone is expected to reach Category 3 strength by 1:00pm Saturday (23rd) and lie about 300km north of Niuafo’ou or about 385km North Northwest of Niuatoputapu.

Tropical Cyclone Amos is also expected to start tracking Southeast by mid-day tomorrow. Strong winds may affect Niuafo’ou land area from early Saturday morning and Niuatoputapu land area from late Saturday to Sunday. Gale force winds are expected over open waters to the north of the two Niuas from tomorrow morning and Sunday.

"Tonga's National Forecasting Centre at Fua’amotu continues to monitor the progress of Tropical Cyclone Amos and will activate the Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre if Gale Force winds are expected within 48hrs of reaching any of the Tonga Islands.

"Members of the public, particularly those citizens residing in the Niuas and Vava’u should take time to get the latest warnings and make the usual pre-tropical cyclone preparations,” Tonga Met advised in a statement today.

Strong wind warnings are currently in place for all land and sea areas of Ha’apai, Vava’u and the Niuas with Heavy Damaging Swell warnings in force for Ha’apai, Vava’u and the Niuas. These warnings could be elevated later depending on the actual track Tropical Cyclone Amos takes.

Tropical Cyclone Amos (Category 2) was located at about 12.4 South,177.4 West or about 410km Northwest of Niuafo’ou or 560km West-Northwest of Niuatoputapu at 1:00pm this afternoon, the system is moving East-Northeast at about 9 knots