Thousands of Tongans are expected to be homeless after the worst ever cyclone struck the tiny nation overnight.

Cyclone Gita was carrying winds of up to 195km/h when the centre of the storm raged past the main Tongan island Tongatapu overnight.

The eye of the storm narrowly missed the island, but it was hit by intense wind and rainfall.

Here's a few things you need to know about the storm so far,


• Cyclone Gita has been described as the strongest to hit Tonga in its history
• Some estimates say 75 per cent of homes in capital Nukuʻalofa destroyed
• The Government purposely cut power before the storm arrived
• Fresh water supplies are limited
• There are unconfirmed reports of two deaths as at 7.45am today
• At least one church has been destroyed so far
• Roofs have been ripped off homes, trees have been flattened
• NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the New Zealand Defence Force is on standby, waiting for a call from the Tongan government for help
• The government has pledged an initial $50,000 to assist rescue and relief operations
• Gita is now moving towards Fiji where it should hit later today
• It's still a possibility that it will hit New Zealand

But some residents were lucky to escape unscathed.

If you're a Kiwi in Tonga and need consular assistance contact the NZ High Commission on (00676) 23122, (00676) 881 7022 (after hours) or