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Tropical Cyclone Gita - how to help

Taikivu’s roof was ripped off in the cyclone, but his family has a dry place to sleep tonight

Cyclone Gita left a trail of destruction across Tonga.

Cyclone Gita is one of the strongest tropical cyclones to ever hit Tonga.

When Cyclone Gita roared through Tonga, terrifying families across the country’s southern islands,

Takivalu Faasee narrowly escaped with his life.

Much of Takivalu’s roof was ripped off his house before his eyes and debris was flung around like missiles.

Like thousands of others, Takivalu’s family spent the night in an evacuation centre.

Tonga Red Cross has provided Taikavu an industrial-strength tarpaulin to help him keep his home dry.

“It’s been excellent for the family because it’s protecting us from the rain and sun. Plus it meant that my wife and two children can come back home.

Large areas of the Tongan island of Tongatapu and the capital Nuku’alofa have been devastated by Cyclone Gita.

Red Cross teams are distributing relief supplies, such as clean water, tarpaulins to help provide temporary shelter for people who have lost their homes and hygiene kits, made up of soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste and sanitary pads for women.

 “I’m very happy with what we’ve been given because we can move back into the house and be together,” says Takivalu.

In Samoa, Red Cross is responding after the country was also lashed by the cyclone, with homes damaged or destroyed. Red Cross teams have been assessing the damage and going door-to-door to provide relief supplies and personal support.

The massive cyclone also affected the southern islands of Fiji. Red Cross emergency response teams are providing support to outer islands of Fiji, which bore the full brunt of the terrible storm.

You can help people affected by the devastating Cyclone Gita - by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery before 26 February.

You can help people affected by the devastating Cyclone Gita - by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery before 26 February.

Thank you for your generous offer. Red Cross does not accept or distribute goods donated by the public to help people in crises. We purchase items in bulk from suppliers as close to the affected country as we can. This enables essential relief supplies like tarpaulins or medicines to get into the country first; prevents a backlog of unsolicited goods at airports or shipping docks; and can save hundreds of thousands of dollars in shipping and storage fees.

The best way to help people affected by an emergency is usually to donate money because this empowers people to buy what they need the most and support their local businesses.

If you have clothes or other items to donate, please take them to your local Red Cross store, where they can be sold to support programs in Australia and overseas.

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