Has not been in contact with the coastal areas – NRK Urix – Foreign news and documentaries

Until now, it has been impossible to send surveillance aircraft to the Pacific nation of Tonga due to thick ash.

On Monday, several surveillance aircraft were finally able to take off from New Zealand and Australia.

They will now assess the extent of the damage on Tonga, reports The Guardian.

Due to limited communication, there is still no good overview of the extent of the damage and how many people may have lost their lives.

Surveillance aircraft have been sent to Tonga from New Zealand and Australia.

Photo: LACW EMMA SCHWENKE / AFP

Worried about the outer islands

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference on Sunday that no contact had been established with the coastal areas of Tonga, outside the capital Nuku’alofa.

There are no official reports of deaths, but the uncertainty surrounding this is great. The Red Cross is particularly concerned about the outer islands of the island state.

– From the small updates we have received, the extent of the destruction can be enormous, especially for the outer islands, said Katie Greenwood, Red Cross’ head of delegation in the Pacific.

Tonga’s Prime Minister Siaso Sovaleni tweeted on Sunday that large parts of the country have suffered enormous damage.

The capital Nuku’alofa was covered on Sunday by a thick layer of volcanic dust, but the situation in the city was calm, Ardern states.

The damage can be enormous

Saturday’s volcanic eruption has cut telephone lines and has polluted water supplies.

The eruption lasted for eight minutes and sent a cloud of gas, ash and smoke several kilometers into the air.

A sonic bang could be heard as far away as Alaska.

The eruption triggered a 1.2-meter tsunami. Videos shared on social media after the eruption on Saturday showed people running towards higher terrain when the meter-high waves hit the coastal areas and made their way inland.

Tonga’s meteorological services issued a tsunami warning that applied to the whole of Tonga.

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The Pacific island nation of Tonga has issued a tsunami alert following an eruption in an underwater volcano.

The Guardian reports that a woman from the UK is missing after being swept away from the beach by the tsunami. Angela Glover (50) has lived in Tonga since 2015 and ran a tattoo parlor in the capital Nuku’alofa with her husband James.

Angela and her husband James were washed away. James managed to cling to a tree for a while, but Angela did not, her brother Nick Eleini told The Guardian.

Largest eruption in 30 years

Professor Shane Cronin at the University of Auckland tells the BBC that the eruption is one of the largest in Tonga in the last 30 years.

– The most remarkable thing about the eruption is how fast and violent it spread. This was larger, a much larger lateral distribution, much more ash produced. I expect several centimeters of ash to land on Tonga.

Tonga is located between New Zealand and Hawaii and consists of 172 small islands. The country has just over 100,000 inhabitants.

Flights to Tonga

Flights from the Australian Air Force have been sent to Tonga.

Photo: LACW EMMA SCHWENKE / AFP

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