After ravaging parts of Vanuatu and Fiji early this week, Tonga was Harold’s latest target. The Japanese satellite Himawari-8 captures Cyclone Harold’s continued churning across the Pacific as daylight dawned Thursday local time. (CIRA/RAMMB) After ravaging Vanuatu and Fiji early this week, tropical cyclone Harold lashed Tonga on Thursday local time. Damaging winds, hazardous storm surge and flooding rains were expected in the tropical island chain, which is home to a little more than 100,000 people. It comes after Harold became the first storm this year to peak at the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane Monday. While referred to as a cyclone in the western Pacific Ocean, the storm is no different from a hurricane. Tonga marks the third island country to be hit by Harold in barely four days’ time, the relentless cyclone maintaining high-end Category 3 strength as its reign of terror continues. It comes amid a global pandemic, as coronavirus concerns have complicated sheltering decisions and may hamper relief efforts. Winds gusted to 83 mph at the Fuaʻamotu International Airport on Tonga’s main island, Tongatapu, shortly after daybreak Thursday local time (Wednesday afternoon Eastern time). The government-operated Tonga Meteorological Service had issued a hurricane warning for


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