Watch: Youngsters in Tonga brave the ocean as Cyclone Gita starts buffeting the Pacific nation

As Cyclone Gita bared down on Tonga today hardy local youngsters didn't let the looming storm stop them having fun in the sea.

The youngsters were filmed jumping into and swimming in the sea as high winds from the the cyclone started to hit.

The cyclone is predicted to reach Category 5 status when the eye passes over at midnight. Source: 1 NEWS

The weather system is packing winds of more than 200km/h. Source: 1 NEWS

Follow 1 NEWS NOW's live updates as Cyclone Gita hits Tonga 

A major storm was on its way but it was business as usual for these hardy souls. Source: 1 NEWS