Cyclone Ian heightens threatening Tonga

Tropical Cyclone Ian that wandered around the South Pacific islands of Fiji and Tonga early this week was this evening reported to be a massive hurricane threatening Tonga Islands

In the latest advisory, Tonga Met Services says  Ian now a category 4 cyclone  is expected to strike Niuafo'ou in the next 3-6hrs bringing destructive storm force winds to the Vava'u group in the next 18-24hrs and  damaging gale force winds to Ha'apai within the next 18-24hrs.

A strong wind warning is now in force for Tonga’s main island Tongatapu and 'Eua,  Niuatoputapu and Tafahi islands.

Severe tropical cyclone Ian category 4 was located near 16 decimal 9 south 176 Decimal 4 west or about 170km southwest of niuafo'ou or about 320km northwest of Vava'u at 8:00pm this evening.

Tropical cyclone Ian has estimated winds of 90kts near its centre with momentary gusts up to 125kts.

The cyclone continues to intensify and is moving east-southeast at 3kts.

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