Tonga evacuates 150 residents from two islands affected by eruption and tsunami

Tonga evacuates 150 residents from two islands affected by eruption and tsunami

The authorities of Tonga They are working this Wednesday in an operation to evacuate some 150 residents of the Mango and Fonoifua islands, two of the most affected by the eruption and tsunami that hit the archipelago on Saturday.

The New Zealand Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, confirmed at a press conference that the Tongan Navy operation is underway and they will transfer people to other islands less affected by the natural disaster.

“We are aware that there is significant damage to the outer islands. Two of those islands, Mango and Fonoifua, will be evacuated,” said the foreign minister.

The government of Tonga pointed out last night, in its first statement after the disaster due to the cut in communications, that the tsunami, with waves up to 15 meters high, destroyed all the houses on Mango Island, while only two remained standing. in Fonoifua.

At least three people have lost their lives, including a 65-year-old woman in Mango, in this “unprecedented disaster” in the South Pacific-based nation.

On Saturday afternoon, the thunderous eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai, which could be heard hundreds of kilometers away and clearly seen from space, also triggered a tsunami that affected several Pacific nations.

New Zealand and Australia have sent boats with humanitarian aid, which will have to adhere to the strict protocols against the pandemic in Tonga, one of the few nations that have avoided the virus.

While in Tonga, work is being done to clean the runway of the airport on the country’s main island to allow the arrival of flights with emergency supplies.

The main priority is the distribution of drinking water because the natural disaster would have contaminated the aquifers, either by ash fallout or through the invasion of salt water.

Melissa Galbraith
Melissa Galbraith is the World News reporter for Globe Live Media. She covers all the major events happening around the World. From Europe to Americas, from Asia to Antarctica, Melissa covers it all. Never miss another Major World Event by bookmarking her author page right here.