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Tonga asks for ‘immediate aid’ after tsunami and volcanic eruption

Picture Courtesy: The Indian Express

Tonga has asked for immediate aid after the destruction it faced caused by Saturday’s eruption of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai. As officials are assessing the damage, they say that there is an immediate need for drinking water and food.

The Saturday’s volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami and blanketed the Pacific island nation in volcanic ash. Parliament Speaker Lord Fakafanua said in a statement, “Communications remain down and the full extent of the harm to lives and property is currently unknown. What we do know is that Tonga needs immediate assistance to provide its citizens with fresh drinking water and food.”

Officials also detected another eruption at Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai at 22:10 GMT on Sunday. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre detected large waves in the area and said, “This might be from another explosion of Tonga volcano. There are no known earthquakes of significant size to generate this wave.”

The Red Cross has offered its help and has said that this is a “once in a millennium natural disaster”. The effect of Saturday’s eruption were felt across many Pacific nations including Fiji.

A vast cloud of ash is now spreading westwards towards Australia.

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