INTERNATIONAL:

TONGA RAVAGED BY CYCLONE GITA

Cyclone Gita devastated islands of Tonga in the South Pacific with winds of 230 km/h causing severe damages Monday night.

According to the Guardian, the cyclone brought down electricity lines, destroyed churches and flattened crops that are crucial to the island’s livelihood.

Despite the strong winds, the cyclone did not reach a category five storm. However, Cyclone Gita is the worst storm to pass through Tonga.

“I’ve been involved in disaster responses for 30 plus years and it’s the worst situation I have been in,” Graham Kenna from Tonga’s National Emergency Management Office told Radio New Zealand. “A lot of the landmark buildings are extremely badly damaged or even destroyed, the landmark tree, near the palace, has been been destroyed … it’s quite a bad situation.”

NATIONAL:

DEADLY HELICOPTER CRASH AT GRAND CANYON LEAVES 3 DEAD

Three people died and four were wounded in a helicopter crash at the Grand Canyon Sunday evening. The four survivors, including the pilot, were airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital while officials recovered the bodies of the remaining three passengers.

According to officials, a pilot and six passengers were on board the Papillon Grand Canyon Helicopters chopper when it crashed. The cause of the crash remains unknown and is under investigation.

The three passengers killed were identified as veterinary receptionist Becky Dobson, 27; her boyfriend, Stuart Hill, 30; and his brother, Jason Hill, 32. The three were staying in Las Vegas for the weekend from the UK celebrating a birthday, according to the Chicago Tribune.

“It is with extreme sadness we extend our heartfelt sympathy to the families involved in this accident,” Papillon Group CEO Brenda Halvorson said in a statement. “Our top priority is the care and needs of our passengers and our staff.”

LOCAL:

DOG FLU SPREADS IN RENO

The Reno-Sparks area is experiencing several cases of dog flu and according to local veterinarians, it is runing rampant.

According to the Reno Gazette-Journal, the past week had garnered only a few cases but canine influenza continued to spread at dog parks and boarding facilities.

Animal Emergency and Specialty Center Hospital administrator, Dr. Dennis Wilson, says that the facility was able to confirm 10 positive cases on Monday.

Wilson told the RGJ that he believes the outbreak could be caused by the movement of people from the Bay Area to Reno.

“We managed to dodge the bullet on that for quite a while, until just now,” Wilson told the RGJ. “And it’s really causing an issue for our dog owners.”

Karolina Rivas can be reached at karolinar@sagebrush.unr.edu and on Twitter @karolinarrivas.