Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Caritas communities prepare as cyclone approaches Tonga



10 January 2014

Caritas communities prepare to respond as Tropical Cyclone Ian approaches Tonga

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is preparing to support Caritas Tonga’s response to Tropical Cyclone Ian, which is due to hit the islands of Ha’apai and Va’vau later today.

Mark Mitchell, humanitarian programmes coordinator for Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand, says Caritas Tonga has trained relief committees in Ha`apai and Va`vau. These committees have identified church buildings that could be used as evacuation centres and are making last minute preparations for the storms.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is in regular communication with our counterparts in Tonga and has committed funds to respond should the need arise. “Caritas Tonga is a key response organization in Tonga, and has played a vital role in coordinating relief and rehabilitation projects, such as the construction of cyclone-strength housing for vulnerable families,’ says Mark Mitchell.

The Director of Caritas Tonga, Sr Senolita Vakata, is meeting regularly with the National Emergency Management Organisation and Red Cross officials to plan the potential response.

Tropical Cyclone Ian is the first cyclone of the annual cyclone season, which runs from November to March. Mark Mitchell says the cyclone has been slowly building up strength over the last few days but it has proven to be very difficult to predict and there is still some uncertainty about what it may do.

Meteorologists have now classified the storm as a Category 4. Wind speeds are expected to reach between 165 km/h and 230 km/h. The slow moving cyclone is travelling in an easterly direction and will affect the islands of Ha’apai and Va’vau late Friday night and into the weekend before turning further south.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand has worked closely with Caritas Tonga for more than a decade in emergency response and long-term development programmes. In December Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Tonga initiated an emergency water management programme in Ha`apai to support 2400 people access drinking water in five villages acutely affected by a four-month drought.

Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand is a member of Caritas Internationalis, a confederation of 165 Catholic aid, development and social justice agencies active in over 200 countries and territories.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines



Relevant Consents Gained: Government Unveils RMA Reform Package

The government has formally hauled down the flag on its attempts to alter the balance of environmental and economic priorities in the Resource Management Act, unveiling a 180-page Resource Legislation Amendment Bill containing reforms that have been largely endorsed by most political parties. More>>


Closing Schools And Such: Interim Redcliffs Decision Announced

“While the school’s board has argued that circumstances that could give rise to potential disruption are extremely unlikely, advice from technical experts has shown these concerns cannot be ruled out." More>>


Jane Kelsey: High Court Can’t Make Groser Provide TPPA Information Faster

‘This week we went back to court to challenge Trade Minister Groser’s stalling tactics over the release of information on the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement negotiations, following a High Court order that he reconsider the Official Information Act request I made last January’, said University of Auckland law professor Jane Kelsey, first applicant in the case. More>>

Werewolf 58: No Climate For Change

The last time the global community tried to take collective action on climate change the world’s leaders finally came to agree that every not-too-onerous effort should be made to hold global warming to 2°C above the pre-industrial average. At Paris, all 150 participant countries nations will have put forward their pledges... On the information available, New Zealand's is the second weakest contribution of any nation in the developed world. More>>


Lambton Quay Shutdown: Object Was Made To Look Like Bomb

Police cordoned off part of Lambton Quay Wednesday afternoon, saying that a suspicious package had been found. Buildings were evacuated and buses were detoured. The army’s explosive ordnance disposal unit was brought to the Quay. More>>


Public Sector Still Shrinking: Record Low Number Of 'Backroom Bureaucrats'

Ongoing restraint in the public sector and a focus on better frontline services has seen a further reduction in the number of core Government employees, State Services Minister Paula Bennett says. More>>


Disobeying The Law: Police Censorship Of Crime Research “An Outrage”

The Green Party is calling on Police Minister Michael Woodhouse to ensure Police scrap controversial contracts that place onerous restrictions on academic researchers’ access to Police data, the Green Party says. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news