Local Govt | National News Video | Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Search


Tonga braces for Cyclone Winston: Zika virus complicates

Tonga braces for Cyclone Winston: Zika virus complicates picture

As Cyclone Winston bears down on Tonga, Oxfam New Zealand is preparing a two-pronged response: helping local communities recover from cyclone damage and ensuring the risk of the present Zika virus spreading is minimised.

Earlier this week Cyclone Winston tracked closely near Vanuatu then turned towards Tonga, crossing Vava'u as a Category Two causing power outages and damage to crops. Winston then left Vava’u but stormed back towards the islands. It’s now picking up speed and will potentially increase in strength to Category Four as it reaches Vava'u a second time.

Oxfam is ready to send emergency staff to Tonga if needed, to assess the situation on the ground to identify the most urgent needs. We are working closely with the Tongan government to monitor threat of the Zika virus.

Carlos Calderon, Pacific Humanitarian Manager for Oxfam New Zealand, says: “Cyclone Winston is the second to hit Tonga this year. Oxfam is supporting its community partners and we are ready to reach out with emergency supplies to those affected should they need our help. With support from the New Zealand Aid Programme our water equipment is on the ground and ready to go – with enough supplies to provide 8,000 people with safe water.

“But another deadly threat lies in the wake of Winston - the presence of Zika virus in Tonga could spread easily in a response situation. Oxfam is working with our local team to ensure a coordinated safe water, sanitation and hygiene programme to minimise the risk.”

Oxfam, along with its partner Tonga National Youth Congress (TNYC), operates virgin coconut oil and organics programmes throughout the country. Oxfam is working with TNYC to prepare for an appropriate and coordinated response.

In January 2014, Tropical Cyclone Ian ripped through the Ha'apai islands in Tonga, destroying buildings and homes. Oxfam launched an emergency response, providing access to safe water, ensuring sanitation needs were met, and helping people recover their livelihoods so they could earn a living and support themselves and their families.

Donations to support Oxfam’s emergency responses can be made online at oxfam.org.nz


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Now-Former Cyclone: States of Emergency Declared

A state of emergency has been declared in Buller, Greymouth and Christchurch, with fears some homes are at a high risk of flooding over the next day.

High tides overnight were likely to bring large waves to Kaikōura and Christchurch about 9pm, and to Taranaki, Kāpiti and Nelson about 2am.

The latest severe weather update has upgraded watches for heavy rain in Christchurch, Banks Peninsula and North Otago to full warnings...More>>


Kauri Protection: Waitākere Forest Closure Proposed

At the 20 February meeting of the Environment and Community Committee, the council proposed to close the forested areas of the Waitākere Ranges Regional Park, with some exceptions, by 1 May 2018. More>>


'Hit And Run' Raid: NZDF Had Reports Of Civilian Casualties

The NZDF received intelligence updates within one or two days of the August 2010 SAS raid in Afghanistan that reported civilian casualties, including the death of a child, new OIA documents reveal... it appears they did not bother to investigate nor made any effort to help the victims. More>>


Christchurch Public Meeting: Complete U-Turn By Labour And NZ First On TPP

The TPP might have been re-branded as the CPTPP but it's still the same bad deal says Professor Jane Kelsey, New Zealand's expert on international economic regulation. More>>


Commerce, Etc: Thicker Bright Line For Real Estate

Revenue Minister Stuart Nash has confirmed the bright-line test on residential property sales will be extended from two years to five years in legislation currently making its way through Parliament.More>>


Prison Inspections: Reports on Manawatu and Paremoremo Released

The Office of the Inspectorate today released reports into Manawatu Prison and Auckland Prison (Paremoremo), the first two resulting from a programme of inspections of New Zealand prisons. More>>

Whistle Blowers: Government To Review Law On Protection

Work has begun on a review of the Protected Disclosures Act 2000, Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins said today. More>>





Featured InfoPages