Airforce Orion arrives to assess damage in Tonga
An air force Orion has arrived in Tonga to assess the damage caused by Cyclone Waka.

Flying Officer Karen Hill said the aircraft would fly over the battered islands gathering information and images of the damage on the request of the Tongan government.

Tongan government representatives and the New Zealand High Commissioner to Tonga Warwick Hawker would be on board the flight.

The aircraft was not going to land on the three main affected islands and would return to New Zealand this evening, Flg Off Hill said.

Earlier Government duty minister Trevor Mallard said when the flight returned, the Government would assess how it could help the small nation.

Flg Off Hill said the Orion was kept on 24-hour notice in case of search and rescue operations.