Sunday, January 16, 2022

Tonga volcano eruption caused ‘significant damage’, says Ardern | Tsunami News | Al Jazeera

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa suffered “significant” damage from a powerful volcanic eruption that triggered a tsunami, but there have been no reports of injury or death.

Ardern’s comments on Sunday came as Pacific nations and humanitarian groups struggled to establish communications with Tonga, a day after the disasters cut telephone and internet connections, leaving its 105,000 residents virtually unreachable.

Ardern said her government had made contact with the New Zealand embassy in Nuku’alofa.

“The tsunami has had a significant impact on the foreshore on the northern side of Nuku’alofa with boats and large boulders washed ashore,” she told reporters.

“Nuku’alofa is covered in a thick film of volcanic dust but otherwise conditions are calm and stable.”

But she said there has been no word on damage in the outer islands, and New Zealand’s military said it will send an air force reconnaissance aircraft “as soon as atmospheric conditions allow”.

“We’re working hard to see how we can assist our Pacific neighbours after the volcanic eruption near Tonga,” New Zealand’s Defence Force tweeted.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’s (IFRC) Pacific Office in Suva, Fiji, meanwhile said that it was monitoring the situation and had no updates on damages or casualties.



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