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The islands of Tonga, which were hit by the tsunami, were severely damaged and could cause even more deaths.

A small remote island in Tonga was severely damaged by a massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, destroying the entire village and losing many buildings, Tonga’s diplomats said Tuesday.

“People panic, run and get injured. Probably more will be killed, and I just hope they aren’t,” Curtis Tuiharangingi, deputy chief of mission to Australia in Tonga, told Reuters. Said.

According to Tui Haranginji, images taken during a New Zealand Defense Force (NZDF) reconnaissance flight show a “warning” scene of a destroyed village on Mango Island and a lost building on nearby Atata Island.

Police in Tonga told the New Zealand High Commissioner that the number of casualties confirmed was two, but the true range of casualties was unclear due to the loss of communications in the island nations of the South Pacific.

Australian Minister Zed Seselja wants Tongan authorities to evacuate people from the isolated lowland Ha’apai Islands and other remote islands, where “the tsunami has destroyed many homes and is in a very difficult situation.” Said. ..

The United Nations had previously reported that a distress signal was detected in Ha’apai, where the mango is located. The Tongan Maritime Force reported that the area was hit by waves estimated to be 5-10 meters (15-30 feet) high, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said.

Atata and Mango are about 50-70 km from Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haapai volcano, where the tsunami was sent to the Pacific Ocean and was heard about 2,300 km (1,430 miles) away when it erupted on Saturday in New Zealand.

Atata has a population of about 100 and Mango has a population of about 50.

“It’s very disturbing to see that the waves may have passed through you from one end to the other,” Tu’i halangingie said.

An NZDF image, unofficially posted on the Facebook site and confirmed by Tu’ihalangingie, also showed a tarpaulin used as a shelter on Mango Island.

Angela Grover, a 50-year-old British citizen, died in the tsunami while trying to rescue a dog sheltered in a rescue shelter.

Clear the runway

A thick layer of ash covered the island, as shown by aerial photographs provided to Tonga by New Zealand and Australia.

Hua Motu International Airport, the archipelago’s main airport, was not damaged by the eruption and tsunami on Saturday, but heavy rains have hampered its full operation and hindered international relief efforts.

According to the United Nations Humanitarian Aid Agency, Tongan officials said the runway was manually cleaned and will take several days to open earliest on Wednesday.

People on the west coast of the main island of Tongatapu had been evacuated due to “serious damage,” OCHA added updates, and government ministers broadcast a warning on price cuts in fear of supply shortages.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs said two vessels, HMNZS Wellington and HMNZS Aotearoa, left New Zealand with a large supply of water, research teams and helicopters.

Australia’s Foreign Minister Marise Payne said Tonga is expected to make a formal request for assistance today.

She said C-130 flights from Australia could provide humanitarian assistance, including water purification supplies. Meanwhile, HMAS Adelaide, which takes five days to arrive at sea, was ready to provide helicopter distribution assistance with engineering and medical personnel.

“Not only the flooding, but also the effects of the huge amount of ash that covers everything, as well as communication problems, of course, make this very difficult,” she said.

According to New Zealand, international mobile network provider Digicel has installed a temporary system on the main island using satellite dishes from the University of South Pacific.

ANZ said the bank’s Nuku’alofa branch had limited services available, but clean water supply and communication was a major challenge for banks.

Cut cable

The archipelago has remained largely isolated from the world since the eruption that cut its major submarine communications cable.

Subcom, a US-based private company that repairs various submarine cables in the Asia-Pacific region, said it is working with Tonga Cable Ltd to repair cables from Tonga to Fiji.

Samiuela Fonua, chair of Tonga Cable, said there are two cuts in the submarine cable that will not be repaired until volcanic activity ceases and will be accessible to repair workers.

“The site is still pretty messy so far,” Fonua told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Hunga Tonga Island-Hunga Haapai, located in the seismically active Ring of Fire, has almost disappeared after the blast, making it difficult for volcanologists to monitor its activity, according to satellite images taken about 12 hours later. ..

Tonga is a kingdom of 176 islands, 36 of which are inhabited and have a population of 104,494.



http://www.gulf-times.com/story/708173/Tsunami-hit-Tonga-islands-suffered-extensive-damag The islands of Tonga, which were hit by the tsunami, were severely damaged and could cause even more deaths.

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