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Tonga: Massive Cyclone Destroys Homes, Flattens Parliament Building

HeadlineFeb 13, 2018
 h08 tonga cyclone

In the South Pacific, the island nation of Tonga was left devastated Monday after a major cyclone made landfall, leveling homes, flooding neighborhoods and flattening the kingdom’s Parliament building. Tropical Cyclone Gita arrived Monday evening with winds of 145 miles per hour—far higher than forecasters had predicted. The storm made landfall as a new report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences finds sea level rise due to human-driven climate change is happening now, as ice from Antarctica and Greenland melts at an accelerated rate. The report found sea levels have risen by an average of nearly 3 inches over the past quarter-century. The storm in Tonga is the worst in more than 60 years.

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