Tongans play France on Sunday in Kumamoto, a city famous for its samurai heritage, even as French suffer a rising injury toll, with memories of 2011 loss to Tongo still fresh.
Hundreds of mourners packed a church service and children held vigils on downtown streets as Tonga observed a national holiday to bid farewell to prime minister Akilisi Pohiva at a state funeral.
Heavy rains brought floods to the southern city of Christchurch but the cyclone has not yet hit the island nation in full force.
Shirtless at the Rio summer Olympics in 2016, the 34-year-old Taufatofua from Tonga is a hit in South Korea having trained on roller skates to qualify for the cross country skiing.
The Category 4 storm hit in middle of night causing widespread damage but there were no confirmed reports of deaths.
Weather experts said Gita was packing sustained winds of 275 kmh (170 mph) and was expected to intensify before making landfall.
In highly unusual scenes, hawkish US Vice President Mike Pence sat directly in front of the North Korean delegation during the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Mars has many similar volcanic islands that appeared to have been surrounded by water when they were created, says NASA.
As torch-wielding white supremacists marched through Charlottesville, a symbol of a Polynesian cultural hero is tainted by association.
Rescue teams search rubble to find survivors as major Japanese manufacturers face production losses from supply chain disruptions
Deadly earthquakes with magnitude 6 and above hits 16 countries in two weeks on Ring of Fire in Pacific
Magnitude 6.1 earthquake strikes southeast of Pacific island nation of Tonga
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