WMO Website, 17th October 2018
Strengthening Hydro-meteorological and Early Warning Services in the Pacific
Pacific countries presented the status of progress in the development of their early warning systems as part of a three-year project entitled “Strengthening Hydro-meteorological and Early Warning Services in the Pacific”.
Representatives from Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu provided updates at a session in Tonga on progress and priorities.
“The level of exposure to climate extreme events and the essential role of early warnings to reduce their impact were both very visible in February 2018 when tropical cyclone Gita hit Tonga and affected many islands in the region,” said Ofa Fa'anunu, head of the Tonga Meteorological Services and Permanent Representative of Tonga with WMO. The cyclone caused an estimated US$155 million in damages, including to the headquarters of the national meteorological service.