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Tonga’s TBC needs government help to recover from Cyclone Gita

Tonga’s state broadcaster TBC, says it could be a month before its station is back to full operations and that it needs government assistance in order to do so. The Tonga Broadcasting Commission studios and their transmission equipment was damaged during this month’s Cyclone Gita and television services are only now slowly resuming.

Electricity services were adversely affected while the threat of dengue remains. A state of emergency will continue to apply until March 12th. The government, with help from the World Bank, plans to undertake an assessment to quantify the damage caused by Gita and provide data for recovery planning.

Electricity lines were downed and roofs were torn off houses by the high winds. The government declared a state of emergency before the storm hit, and set up evacuation centres where thousands of people stayed overnight.

The parliament building in the Pacific country has been destroyed by the worst storm to hit the country in more than 60 years. Gita, a category four storm, battered the island causing widespread damage.

TBC’s acting general manager, Solomone Finau, told Koro Vaka’uta it is important that the station, particularly the radio services, get the help that is needed.