Distress signal detected in Tonga

According to the United Nations, distress signals have been detected following massive volcanic eruptions and tsunamis on the isolated lowland islands of the Tonga Islands, raising special concerns for residents.

Initial reports did not result in massive casualties on the main island of Togatap, but Saturday’s event reportedly left the two missing and severely damaged resorts and homes along the beaches of the capital Nuku’alofa and the western part of the island. Was done.

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in a statement on Monday that “further volcanic activity cannot be ruled out” and reported only minor injuries, but no official assessment of the remote islands has yet been announced. Was emphasized. Communication was a terrible hit.

About 12 hours later, satellite images show that the uninhabited volcanic island Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai almost disappeared after the blast. The Pacific Islands were covered with ash, and clouds of volcanic ash spread to countries thousands of kilometers west.

OCHA said there was no contact from the Ha’apai islands and there was “particular concern” about the two small lowland islands of Phonoi and Mango where active distress beacons were detected. According to the Tongan government, 36 live in Mango and 69 live in Phonoy.

According to experts, the last erupted volcano in 2014 erupted for about a month before the magma overheated to about 1000 degrees Celsius rose and encountered seawater at 20 degrees Celsius. Caused a large explosion.

Australia and New Zealand sent a surveillance flight to assess the damage on Monday, and Australian Minister Zed Seselja said Australian police visited the beach and reported serious damage that “houses were thrown.” ..

Angela Glover, a British woman who ran a dog philanthropy in Tonga, was killed, her Sydney Cider brothers told the British media.

The effects of the 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.

Tonga is not infected with COVID and there are concerns about the risk of the virus spreading to the island with the help provided. The aid sent needs to be quarantined, and foreigners rarely drop off aircraft.

Damage to submarine cables has severely disrupted international communications and could take a week or more to recover, Australia and New Zealand were supporting satellite calls, he said.

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.

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.

Distress signal detected in Tonga

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