WELLINGTON, New Zealand – Some people in Tonga are nailing pieces of wood over their windows while others are evacuating as they brace for a cyclone that is due to hit Monday night.
The Pacific island nation has declared a state of emergency in anticipation of Cyclone Gita. Weather experts say Gita is packing sustained winds of 195 kilometers per hour (121 miles per hour) and is expected to intensify before making landfall.
The storm has strengthened since hitting Samoa and American Samoa last week, where it caused damage to buildings, widespread power outages and flooding.
President Donald Trump on Sunday declared an emergency in American Samoa, a U.S. territory. The declaration allows the Federal Emergency Management Agency to provide equipment and resources.
Tonga is home to about 105,000 people.