At least two people were killed in a large volcanic eruption on Saturday in Tonga. That’s what the New Zealand government said on Tuesday. The volcanic eruption caused earthquakes and tsunamis that reached Alaska, Japan and South America.
According to New Zealand’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Tonga police have confirmed that they are currently aware of two deaths, including British woman who tried to save her dogs.
There is still a lot of uncertainty about the exact impact of the volcanic eruption. Due to damage to the submarine cable, communication with the island country was cut off.
According to New Zealand Foreign Minister Nanaya Mahuta, relief efforts were difficult because the volcanic eruption severely disrupted communications. New Zealand has already sent HMNZS Wellington and HMNZS Aotearoa to Tonga. Defense Minister Benny Henari said the ships would include diving teams, a helicopter and potable water. There is also a Hercules aircraft in standby mode that can take off with assistance once the runway in the capital, Nuku’alofa, is clear, but first there is still ash to be removed from the runway.
Meanwhile, the United Nations announced that it had received a distress signal from the isolated, low-lying group of Hapai Islands, which are part of the island of Tonga.
The United Nations said a distress signal was detected in the low-lying Ha’apai island group, which is part of the island of Tonga. Within this archipelago, the United Nations is particularly concerned about the Funui and Mango Islands. According to the government of Tonga, 36 people live in Mango and 69 people live in Funui.
West coast damage
Tonga is made up of 169 islands spread over an area of 700,000 square kilometres. The majority of the population lives on the main island of Tongatapu. There appears to be a lot of damage especially on the west coast, according to yesterday’s New Zealand reconnaissance flight with Australia.
Saturday’s submarine eruption on the Polynesian island of Tonga was so severe that many countries had to contend with its aftermath. Watch the video above to see how part of the world has shared parts of the volcanic eruption.
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