A state of emergency has been declared in Tonga as the country braces for a direct hit from tropical cyclone Gita.

The storm, which has already devastated parts of Samoa. It is predicted to hit category five.

Schools and government departments closed yesterday - shops were open and many residents were stocking up on emergency supplies and equipment.

Category five storms are the top of the scale, with winds of more than 250 km/h.

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