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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (Radio New Zealand International, Jan. 10) – Tonga’s Emergency Management Office is monitoring a cyclone south of the country.

Forecasters are warning to expect sustained winds of 35 knots close to the centre of the cyclone.

It is expected to track southwards over open seas, and should be 400 kilometres southeast of Tonga by midnight tonight.

Deputy directory of the Emergency Management Office, Maliu Takia, says they were hoping the depression wouldn’t turn into a cyclone.

"We don’t expect this cyclone to make any landfall because it is far down to the south of the main island," he said. "In this direction it should be gradually moving away from the island. We’ll have to stay on alert until we are certain that the threat is gone."

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