Tropical Cyclone Gita made landfall in Tonga on 12 February 2018, causing severe damage to the main island of Tongatapu. The cyclone damaged or destroyed almost 2,000 homes, caused the evacuation of over 4,500 people and left more than 80% of homes in Tonga without power. Australia is providing a comprehensive package of support to Tonga that includes addressing immediate needs, helping people return to their homes, reconnecting power throughout Tongatapu, and providing support to the island of 'Eua, which was also badly affected by the cyclone.
As I arrive at the High Commission, which consists of 27 people, I greet Australians, Tongans and other nationalities. Together we seek to achieve a healthier and prosperous future for Tonga and maintain the strong relationship between our two countries.