'People are banding together, that's what Tonga does best' - Clean up begins in cyclone-hit Tonga

The New Zealand airforce Orion is surveying the damage after Tropical Cyclone Gita tore through Tonga on Monday night.

1 NEWS Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver told TVNZ1's Breakfast this morning, "Some areas are a lot worse hit than others" following the disaster.

The Orion's bird's eye view of the affected areas lets the Tongan authorities know which areas to provide aid to first.

The storm also pounded Fiji's southernmost islands. Source: 1 NEWS

"People are banding together - that's what Tonga does best so people are going to neighbours' houses and so forth," she said. 

Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says New Zealand will contribute a further $1.5 million to help with the emergency response and early recovery efforts in the wake of Tropical Cyclone Gita.

The money is on top of the $750,000 that the Government has already contributed to the relief efforts.

Pacific correspondent Ms Dreaver was sheltering on the floor during Cyclone Gita before it got flooded. Source: 1 NEWS

"A picture of the extent of damage caused by Cyclone Gita is emerging and it is clear a big response and clean-up job lies ahead. We are here to help our neighbours get through this," Mr Peters said.

Pacific correspondent Barbara Dreaver reports the relief effort after Cyclone Gita. Source: 1 NEWS



'They handled it just fine' - Doctors separate 13-month-old conjoined twin girls

Doctors in Houston have successfully separated twin toddlers who were born in 2016 conjoined at the chest and abdomen.

A spokeswoman at Texas Children's Hospital says 13-month-old Anna and Hope Richards were in good condition after the procedure yesterday. 

Lindsey Fox says separation surgery was done on January 13 and announced on Tuesday.

Fox says the twin sisters join two brothers and their parents, Jill and Michael Richards of North Texas. 

Fox declined to provide more specifics about the family as the parents focus on their daughters' recovery.

Officials say a routine ultrasound revealed the girls were conjoined. 

The twins were born premature, at just over 35 weeks, on December 29, 2016, at Texas Children's Pavilion for Women. Their combined weight was nine pounds, 12 ounces (4.4kg).

"These are the kind of procedures you plan for the worst and hope for the best and we're blessed that this is the best case scenario," said Dr Oluyinka Olutoye of Texas Children's Hospital in an interview. 

"These Conjoined twins are what are called thoraco-omphalopagus twins which is just really a fancy way of saying that they were joined in the thorax and the chest and in the upper abdominal region," he explained.

"Well my hope is that this girls will grow up to have healthy lives and live nice productive lives and that they would grow up to be twin sisters, like nobody would ever be able to tell what the initial part of their life was unless they decide to tell others what it is."

Another doctor from the surgery team spoke to emotional family members of the twins after their operation.

"The hearts are separate and there they were doing fine. They're like their blood pressure didn't change. They handled it just fine," the doctor said. 

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Olympic diver Tom Daley expecting baby with husband Dustin Lance Black

British diver Tom Daley's having a baby.

The diving world champion and Olympic bronze medallist showed off his ultrasound photo on social media with his husband Dustan Lance Black.

The 23-year-old athlete married Black last year.

British Olympic diver Tom Daley. Source: Bang Showbiz

The happy couple posted the photo with the caption "Happy Valentines Day".

Daley's set to compete for England at April's Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast.

He won his Olympic bronze medal at home at the London 2012 Games.


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