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Great concern about drinking water and ash as damage to Tonga after the tsunami

Reuters / Sydney / Wellington

* Australia and New Zealand send reconnaissance flights to Tonga
* The Red Cross says the scale of devastation can be immeasurable
* One British woman is missing
* A cloud of volcanic ash from an eruption moving towards New Zealand, Australia

Australia and New Zealand conducted a surveillance flight on Monday assessing the damage to Tonga, isolated from the rest of the world, after the eruption of a volcano that caused a tsunami and covered the islands of the Pacific with ash.
Australian Minister Zed Seselja suggests in the first report that there were no major casualties from the eruption and tsunami on Saturday, but Australian police visited the beach and said “the house was thrown out”. He said he had reported some damage.
“We know there are some serious damages and the resorts are also seriously damaged,” he said in an interview with an Australian radio station, and the airport in Tonga is in relatively good condition. I added that it seems.
A British woman was reported missing, he said.
Curtis Tui Haranginzi, Deputy Chief of Mission to Australia in Tonga, said the surveillance flight is expected to return on Monday night. He sought patience as the Tongan government decided to prioritize aid.
Tonga is concerned about the dangers of aid spreading to the island where Covid-19 is Covid-free.
“We don’t want to bring in another wave, the Covid-19 tsunami,” he told Reuters on the phone.
“When people see such a big explosion, they want to help,” he said, but Tongan diplomats were also concerned about some private funding efforts, and the Disaster Relief Fund said. I urged the public to wait until it was announced.
He said all aid provided to Tonga would need to be quarantined and foreign personnel would not be allowed to disembark the aircraft.
The eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Haapai volcano caused a tsunami on the coast of Tonga, blocking telephone and internet lines throughout the island.
Damage to submarine cables has severely disrupted international communications and could take a week or more to recover, he said. The Tongan Cabinet was meeting to determine what kind of assistance was most urgently needed.
Tonga’s telephone network has been restored, but ash has contaminated drinking water and has caused great health concerns.
“Most people are unaware that ash is toxic and bad for breathing, and they need to wear a mask,” says Tu’i halangingie.
The Haataf Beach Resort on the Hihifo Peninsula, 21 km west of the capital Nuku’alofa, has been “completely wiped out,” the owner said on Facebook.
The family who runs the resort is said to have been running hard in the bushes to escape the tsunami. “The entire west coast was completely destroyed along with the village of Kanukpol,” the resort said.
An English woman, Angela Glover, went missing in the waves when she went to have a dog with her husband, James, who owns a Happy Sailor tattoo in Nuku’alofa.
The husband managed to grab a tree, but his wife and their dog, who run a dog rescue shelter, were swept away, New Zealand state broadcaster TVNZ reported.
The Red Cross said it is mobilizing a regional network to respond to what is called the worst volcanic eruption that the Pacific has experienced in decades.
Katie Greenwood, head of the Pacific Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, told Reuters that up to 80,000 people could have been affected by the tsunami.
Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai has been erupting regularly over the past few decades, but the effects of the Saturday eruption were felt far from Fiji, New Zealand, the United States and Japan. Two people were drowned on the beach in northern Peru due to the high waves caused by the tsunami.
More than a day after the eruption, countries thousands of kilometers west have clouds of ash, according to New Zealand forecaster Weatherwatch.
Early data suggest that the eruption was the largest explosion since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, New Zealand-based volcanic scientist Shane Kronin told Radio New Zealand.
“This is the most commonly witnessed eruption from space,” Cronin said.

http://www.gulf-times.com/story/708101/Drinking-water-ash-big-concern-as-Tonga-damage-aft Great concern about drinking water and ash as damage to Tonga after the tsunami

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