Aid flight arrives in Tonga; phone lines partially restored

Aid flight arrives in Tonga; phone lines partially restored

WELLINGTON, 20th January, 2022 – An aid flight from New Zealand carrying humanitarian supplies arrived in Tonga on Thursday, five days after the South Pacific island nation was hit by
a volcanic eruption and tsunami that devastated communities and spoiled most of its drinking water.

A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules had landed in Tonga’s Fua’amotu International Airport, a defence spokesperson said, after a blanket of volcanic ash was finally cleared off the runway.

An Australian Globemaster military transport aircraft is also due to arrive.

“The aircraft is carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief supplies, including water containers, kits for temporary shelters, generators, hygiene and family kits, and communications equipment,” New Zealand’s Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, said in a statement.

Australian Defence Minister Peter Dutton said its aircraft was loaded with supplies including water desalination equipment, shelter, kitchens, and a sweeper to help remove ash from the airport.

A second Australian aircraft is due to make the flight on Thursday.

The delivery of the supplies is expected to be contactless to ensure Tonga remains free of the coronavirus.

The explosion of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano on Saturday killed at least three people, sent tsunami waves rolling across the archipelago, damaging villages, resorts and many buildings and knocked out communications for the nation of about 105,000 people.

Rachael Moore, Australia’s high commissioner to Tonga, said the loss of property had been “catastrophic”.

↯↯↯Read More On The Topic On TDPel Media ↯↯↯

»Share Your Opinion On TDPel Media«