Australia delivers water, telecommunications aid to Tonga

Three flights from Australia carrying food, water, medical supplies and telecommunications equipment have landed in Tonga, as the Pacific nation continues to grapple with the aftermath of an underwater volcanic eruption

Via AP news wire
Saturday 22 January 2022 07:56
Tonga Volcano Eruption
Tonga Volcano Eruption

Three flights from Australia carrying food, water, medical supplies and telecommunications equipment landed in Tonga on Saturday, as the Pacific nation continues to grapple with the aftermath of an underwater volcanic eruption and tsunami.

Planes from other nations, including New Zealand and Japan have also brought sorely needed aid to the Tongan people, said Zed Seselja, Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific.

The first such aid arrived Thursday, after the main airport runway was cleared of ash spewed when the volcano erupted a week ago. The eruption also set off a Pacific-wide tsunami that smashed boats in New Zealand and caused an oil spill in Peru.

“Obviously it’s a very, very difficult time for the people of Tonga. The feedback on the ground again I got today is many people displaced,” Seselja told reporters in Canberra.

Cleanup efforts were going smoothly, with the Tongan government and military officials working together, Seselja said.

Ships from the U.S. and Great Britain were on their way, he said. Also deployed was the HMAS Adelaide, an Australian Navy ship, which has helicopters on board, as well as engineers and a 40-bed hospital. The ship can generate electricity and purify water.

Also Saturday, the Japanese government said a Self-Defense Forces C-130 aircraft arrived in Tonga with 3 tons of drinking water. That followed a Japanese military flight that arrived Friday. Another plane is scheduled to depart Sunday, carrying equipment for the volcanic ash cleanup, the Defense Ministry said.

Seselja said one bit of good news was that casualties have been relatively limited, with three deaths confirmed so far.

Three of Tonga’s smaller islands suffered serious damage from tsunami waves. The majority of Tongans live on the main island of Tongatapu, where about 50 homes were destroyed.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in