The Tonga government issued a statement on the 18th saying that the country’s Hongaha Apay Island submarine volcano erupted violently on the 14th and 15th. Three people were killed and some injured. The evacuation of personnel is currently underway. This is the first statement issued by the Tongan government after the eruption.
The statement said the eruption of a submarine volcano on Hongaha’apai Island and a large-scale tsunami brought “unprecedented disaster” to Tonga. The statement confirmed that the three victims were two locals and a Briton.
All houses on Manao Island were destroyed, and the islands of Fonoifua and Nomuka were also badly affected. Meanwhile, volcanic ash has had a serious impact on Tonga’s water supply system. At present, the Tongan Navy has delivered relief supplies such as drinking water, food, tents and other disaster relief materials to the residents of the more severely affected islands.
Tonga government is stepping up to repair communication lines
In addition, a South Pacific submarine cable operator said on the 18th. The tsunami triggered by the eruption of a submarine volcano in Tonga has caused the only submarine communication fiber optic cable in Tonga to break. It is expected to be repaired as soon as two weeks, when Tonga is expected to return to normal levels of contact with the outside world.
Tonga Legislative Assembly Speaker Fakafanua introduced on the 18th that the Tongan government is stepping up the repair of communication lines. Restoration of communications between the government and emergency health departments will be prioritized. Allow the public to use the mobile 2G network to send and receive text messages to report safety.