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Thursday 6 February 2014
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A shallow M5.3 earthquake with an epicenter located 72km east of ‘Ohonua, ‘Eua was recorded at 4:04am this morning, February 6, according to the USGS.
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Thursday 16 January 2014
Greenbelt, Md.-USA
NASA's TRMM satellite passed over Tropical Cyclone Ian three days in a row and captured rainfall and thunderstorm cloud height data about the deadly storm as it strengthened and weakened. Powerful thunderstorms in Ian's eye wall were found reaching heights of about 15 km/9.3 miles. TRMM's data was used to create a 3-D flyby animation of Ian's well defined eye on January 11, 2014 at 0833 UTC [9:30pm Tonga local time].
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Saturday 11 January 2014
Nuku‘alofa, Tonga
No deaths, injuries, missing persons or missing vessels were reported in Tonga by this afternoon as Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian, now category 4, with its centre packing punches from 194-268km/hr gusts, weaved its way between the Vava‘u and Ha‘apai groups today, passing close to the exposed small outlying island communities of Mo‘unga‘one and Muitoa, whose fate remains unknown. However, the powerful cyclone that intensified to category 5 last night has surprised storm-watchers by letting Vava‘u off lightly without the expected destruction.
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Saturday 11 January 2014

Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A state of emergency for Vava‘u and Ha‘apai was declared at 8:00am today as Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian strengthened to Category 5, battering the groups with damaging gales and heavy rains overnight and today, with powerful intermittent gusts that were forecast to increase to 110 knots (203km per hour) with momentary gusts to 155 knots (287km). However the 9:30am advisory from Fua'amotu Tropical Cyclone warning Centre has downgraded Ian to Category 4 with gusts up to 135 knots.
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Saturday 11 January 2014
Nuku‘alofa, Tonga
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian is closing in on Vava‘u tonight with huge gusts and heavy rain sweeping the group, and much worse to come, with “phenomenal seas” and very destructive 90-125 knots gusts predicted before dawn. At midnight, Vava‘u residents said the gusts were getting much stronger. In its 12:30am advisory for Saturday January 11, Fua‘amotu TCWC stated that the Category 4 cyclone was located about 125km northwest of Hunga (VV) and 125km northwest of Longomapu (VV) or about 210km north-northwest of Lifuka at 10:00pm and moving southeast at 5 knots.
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Friday 10 January 2014
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian heading towards Vava‘u and Ha‘apai, has islanders hunkering down and expecting a battering from the Category 4 storm that is forecast to bring destructive winds over central Tonga overnight, with gusts of 80 to 115 knots at times.
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Thursday 9 January 2014
Nuku‘alofa, Tonga
A crowd of around 200 New Year's visitors remain onshore at Tonga’s remote Niuatoputapu Island today, as Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian is expected to track across the ferry route between Niuatoputapu and southern Tonga, intensifying into a Category 4 storm over the next two days.
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Thursday 9 January 2014
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Upgraded to Category 3, Severe Tropical Cyclone Ian is intensifying and currently threatens Tonga's northern Niuafo‘ou Island where damaging gale force winds are expected this afternoon and evening. The Fua‘amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre (TCWC) at 1:15pm also issued a gale warning for Vavau, and a strong wind warning for Niuatoputapu.
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Wednesday 8 January 2014
Nuku‘alofa, Tonga
Now upgraded to Category 2 storm in Tonga, Tropical Cyclone Ian is moving towards Tonga’s northernmost island, Niuafo‘ou. On its current track, TC Ian may bring damaging gale force winds to Niuafo‘ou in the next 12 to 24 hours, and is expected to turn and move to the southeast over Tonga during the next three days.
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Monday 6 January 2014
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
UPDATE: A tropical cyclone alert and strong wind warning remains in force for Vava‘u and Ha‘apai as a tropical depression strengthened into Tropical Cyclone Ian Category 1, located halfway between Vava‘u, Tonga, and Lifuka, Fiji, this morning. Tonga's Fua’amotu Tropical Cyclone Warning Centre issued a third Tropical Cyclone Advisory at 4:30pm today, January 6, 2014 as Cyclone Ian slowly moves closer to Tonga.
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Friday 3 January 2014
Nuku‘alofa, Tonga
Tonga is expecting another King Tide this evening, with some sea flooding expected when the high tide occurs at 8:57 pm in Nuku‘alofa. The extreme high tides experienced this week are expected to continue through to Sunday.
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Sunday 3 November 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A M6.4 earthquake rattled Vava'u, in northern Tonga at 7:53am this morning, November 3, but no damage has been reported.
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Tuesday 1 October 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A short strong tremor was felt in Nuku'alofa this morning but no damage has been reported. The USGS Earthquake Information Center recorded a deep M5.4 earthquake centred 38km north east of Nuku'alofa at a local time of 11:41am.
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Tuesday 27 August 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
An early warning system is considered an essential strategy in a “National Tsunami Plan”, produced by Tonga's government to protect Tongans from a tsunami disaster.
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Friday 24 May 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A strong 7.4Mw tremor rattled Nuku'alofa before dawn for over a minute starting at 6:19am. Two aftershocks, including 6.6Mw were felt in Nuku'alofa after 10:00am. The first 7.4Mw earthquake was centred south of Fiji and Tonga at a depth of about 170km-208km in an area of the Tonga-Kermadec arc that has frequent moderate to large deep earthquakes. The deep earthquakes are generally less hazardous than shallow earthquakes.
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Thursday 9 May 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Five newly installed tsunami warning sirens will be tested tomorrow Friday 10 May between 12:00-4:00pm around Nuku’alofa and in the Hihifo villages of Afa and Talafo'ou. The National Emergency Management Office advises that the sirens will sound like “an air-raid siren in war movies” and that the level of noise could cause “some discomfort or inconvenience.”
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Wednesday 6 March 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A gale warning is in force for all land areas of Tonga bringing heavy rain to the capital today. The bad weather is expected to continue tomorrow with increasing strong winds that can be damaging.
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Monday 4 March 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Heavy rainfall that lashed Nuku'alofa throughout the day caused widespread flooding in the capital Nuku'alofa, forcing schools and some businesses to close.
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Wednesday 20 February 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
Tonga has been lucky, and has so far enjoyed a largely uneventful 2012-13 South Pacific Cyclone Season, although there were cyclone alerts and gale warnings during January.
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Tuesday 15 January 2013
Nuku'alofa, Tonga
A Tropical Cyclone Alert that was previously in force for Vava'u and Ha'apai is now cancelled, but a strong wind warning is in force for the rest of Tonga.
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