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Tsunami hits Tonga after giant volcano eruption and its aftermath

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  • #16

    All homes on one of Tonga's islands destroyed, 3 people dead
    Waves of up to 15 metres hit the Ha'apia island group, where Mango is located
    Thomson Reuters · Posted: Jan 18, 2022 11:06 AM ET | Last Updated: 2 hours ago

    All the homes on one of Tonga's small outer islands have been destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, with three people so far confirmed dead, the government said on Tuesday in its first update since the disaster struck.

    With communications badly hampered by the severing of an undersea cable, information on the scale of the devastation after Saturday's eruption had mostly come from reconnaissance aircraft.

    But the office of Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni said in a statement that every home on Mango island, where around 50 people live, had been destroyed, only two houses remained on Fonoifua, and Namuka island had suffered extensive damage.

    Tonga's deputy head of mission in Australia, Curtis Tu'ihalangingie, earlier said pictures taken by the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) showed "alarming" scenes of a village destroyed on Mango and buildings missing on Atata island, which is closer to the volcano...


    • #17
      Flash Update #3
      As of 18 January 2022

      Situation Overview

      The United Nations Satellite Centre (UNOSAT) has released a preliminary assessment report and has analyzed five areas/islands. Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai; Nuku’alofa; Uoleva; Uiha and Nomuka. The Pleiades satellite image acquired on 16 January 2022 shows that the caldera of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai has collapsed and the island has lost a substantial percentage of its initial surface of 285ha. Damage can also be seen in Nuku’alofa, Uoleva, Nomuka and Uihawith mainly inundated areas and zones with ash deposits. The analysis can be viewed and downloaded at:

      The European Union activated its Emergency Management Service of the EU Earth Observations System Copernicus and initial results are available online under and under df

      Yesterday, Australia and New Zealand carried out surveillance flights over Tonga. The pictures are currently being analyzed, will first be shared with the Tongan Government, and should then be available shortly.

      The full extent of damage is yet to be fully quantified. The eruption broke the underwater communications cable, leaving most parts of Tonga without communication and internet access. A ship is underway from Papua New Guinea to fix the cable. It is feared that the rupture of this cable is close to the volcano, making it potentially dangerous to restore. Anticipating an extended period of communications challenges. Communication means within Tonga are gradually being restored. Tonga is also negotiating with broadband satellite operator Kacific to access a satellite internet connection.


      • #18
        UNICEF Pacific Islands Humanitarian Situation Report No. 1 (Volcanic Eruption and Tsunami): As of 18 January 2022 (7pm FJT)

        Reporting Period: 16-18 January 2022 (© Pita Taufatofua)

        Posted1 8 Jan 2022 Originally published18 Jan 2022

        • The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Taa’pai volcano is simmering down, but it left a shroud of ash over the mainland, floodwaters inland and caused damage to infrastructure, particularly in the small islands.
        • Clean drinking water supply and environmental clean-up are among the priority humanitarian needs initially expressed.
        • UNICEF is mobilizing emergency supplies prepositioned in the Australian humanitarian warehouse in Brisbane and the UNICEF warehouse in Fiji for immediate deployment to Tonga.

          Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

          Three days after the explosive eruption that triggered a tsunami, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Taa’pai volcano in Tonga appearsto be simmering down as the volcanic activity has been downgraded to Alert Level 3, meaning that eruption hazards are now confined near its vent. Communications to Tonga are still a challenge. While local telecommunications within the main island of Tongatapu have been restored, overseas communications still depend on a few satellite phones operating in the island. Early reports describe substantial ash coverage around Nuku’alofa, inundation of coastal areas and damage to someinfrastructure. Two casualties were confirmed. While damage to agriculture is less than what was feared, concerns about water supply, air quality and availability of fuel have been raised. Outbreak of waterborne diseases is also feared as tidal surges caused flooding 2-3 blocks inland. Aerial surveillance showed significant infrastructure damage to small islands in the Haapai group, north of the capital. The main airport in the capital is not yet operational as the ash covering the runaway is still being cleared. Repatriation flights from New Zealand and Fiji have also been cancelled because of the ash cloud. Entry to Tonga remains restricted because of COVID-19 protocols. ...


        • #19
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          • #20

            Thousands affected in Tonga, several islands seriously damaged
            1 hour ago

            About 84,000 people — more than 80 percent of Tonga's population — impacted by the volcano's eruption, UN officials say while Red Cross confirms serious damage to three small islands of the Pacific nation.
            Tonga has not yet made clear its needs from the international community, and complicating matters is the country's concern over the possible spread of Covid-19.

            Three of Tonga's smaller islands have suffered serious damage from tsunami waves, officials and the Red Cross said, as a wider picture begins to emerge of the destruction caused by the eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific archipelago nation.

            UN humanitarian officials report that about 84,000 people — more than 80 percent of Tonga's population — have been impacted by the volcano's eruption, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said on Wednesday, pointing to three deaths, injuries, loss of homes, and polluted water.

            Communications have been down throughout Tonga since the eruption on Saturday, but a ship made it to the outlying islands of Nomuka, Mango and Fonoifua on Wednesday, and reported back that few homes remain standing after settlements were hit with 49 feet -high waves, said Katie Greenwood, the head of delegation in the Pacific for the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, which had two people aboard the vessel to help assess the damage...


            • #21
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              • #22


                Tonga volcanic eruption: Scale of destruction and assistance offered to the Pacific nation
                On 15 January, the powerful eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano near the Pacific nation of Tonga sent tsunami waves around the world.
                FP Staff
                January 24, 2022 20:23:56 IST

                On 15 January, the powerful eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano near the Pacific nation of Tonga sent tsunami waves around the world.

                According to NASA, the volcanic eruption was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb the US dropped on Hiroshima during World War II.

                Even though the true scale of destruction is yet to be assessed, the eruption left three dead in its wake and an island nation in need of outside assistance to get back on its feet.

                Let’s take a look at the scale of devastation and how international aid is arriving at the Pacific island:

                How the eruption has affected life on Tonga

                – Before the eruption of 15 January, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic island was two separate islands joined by a new land that was formed in 2015. The eruption was so strong that the new land is gone along with parts of the two older islands.

                – According to a BBC report, officials had feared water pollution as a thick blanket of volcanic ash covered water sources that increased the risk of diseases like cholera and diarrhoea. After testing in the last few days, officials cleared ground water and rainwater as safe to drink.

                – However, fine volcanic ash continues to pose health risks. People may experience breathing difficulty due to the ash and it may also affect the cardiovascular system and irritate the eyes and skin.

                – According to a statement released by the Tongan government, tiny islands of Mango and Fonoifua were among the worst affected as both suffered catastrophic damage.

                – It said that all houses had been destroyed on Mango island and only two houses remain on Fonoifua.

                – The Pacific archipelago was cut off after the eruption for five days as the explosions severed the sole fibre-optic sea cable bringing internet to the island.

                Humanitarian aid for Tonga...


                • #23
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