1 NEWS Pacific Correspondent Barbara Dreaver has seen more than her share of cyclones while reporting - but she says enduring Cyclone Gita in Tonga was "by far the worst" she has been through.
The category-4 storm hit Tonga overnight on Monday, and the cleanup continues while Gita moves out to sea to the west.
Ms Dreaver said she took shelter beside her bed in Nuku'alofa while the storm hit, until her room was flooded.
She also said it was "a miracle" no one had been killed in the storm, attributing that mostly to people taking more precautions after Cyclone Winston in 2016.
"Places that I have seen - they are completely decimated," she said.
Emergency services told her they were surprised no one had been killed in the storm, considering the destruction.