CYCLONE ESETA RUINS TONGA RESORTS, CROPS

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (RNZI, Mar. 18) - Tonga’s disaster management office says two tourist resorts in the western district of Tongatapu have been almost completely destroyed by Cyclone Eseta.

The tropical storm hit Tonga’s main island last Thursday with winds of up to 240 kilometers an hour.

The office’s acting director, Male’u Takai, says Eseta affected three tourist operations and two are 80 percent to 90 percent destroyed.

He says most of the accommodations and common areas have been wrecked.

Takai says the Eua island wharf will be out of action for at least two weeks after it was severely damaged.

He says the wharf is about 90 percent destroyed, two port office buildings are damaged and the approach roads are blocked by debris.

Takai says the storm also destroyed fruit tree crops, such as banana and breadfruit.

March 18, 2003

Radio New Zealand International: www.rnzi.com 

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