NUKU’ALOFA – The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano in Tonga on January 15 then triggered a tsunami with a height of up to 15 meters.
Quoted from Inews.id, the 14-meter high tsunami swept across three islands in Tonga, namely Nomuka, Mango and Fonoifua islands, which are inhabited by few people.
Tonga is a country in the Pacific which has about 170 islands, spanning an area of 699,000 square kilometers. Most of the island is uninhabited. The largest island is Tongtapu where the capital city of Nuku’alofa is located.
A spokeswoman for the Red Cross in Fiji, Katie Greenwood, said almost all houses on the three islands were destroyed, razed to the ground by the tsunami.
“The houses were completely destroyed. This is heartbreaking and devastating for the people of this remote island,” said Greenwood, quoted from The New York Times, Sunday (23/1/2022).
Greenwood added, Nomuka Island, Mango, and Fonoifua were hit by waves as high as nearly 15 meters. This is different from the waves that hit Tongatapu, not more than 1 meter.
However, as of Saturday (22/1/2022), the Tongan government has only confirmed three deaths due to the volcanic eruption and tsunami. This cataclysm killed one resident of Mango, one in Nomuka, as well as a British woman in Tongatapu who drowned trying to save her dogs. It is possible that information in Tonga could not spread quickly due to the loss of communication due to damage to the submarine cable.***