Tonga tsunami – major damage amid internet black out

The consequences of the volcano that erupted on Sunday are beginning to be understood as significant damage is being reported.

Tonga tsunami – major damage amid internet black out

The devastating consequences of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano that erupted on Sunday are beginning to be understood as significant damage is being reported after a tsunami hit Tonga – despite communication problems making it hard to get a full picture on the devastation. 

The volcano erupted about 40 miles north of Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa and was heard as far away as the US. After the eruption, waves higher than a metre crashed into Tonga. 

So far there are no confirmed reports of injuries or deaths. 

A British woman’s family have said they are fearing the worst as she remains missing, online her family and friends say she was swept away in the waves. 

The real scale of the damage remains unclear as internet and telephone communications are extremely limited and outlying coastal areas remain cut off.

“Significant damage has been reported along the western coast of Tongatapu, including to resorts and the waterfront area of northern Nuku’alofa,” the New Zealand High Commission in Tonga posted on Facebook, referring to Tonga’s main island.

“A thick layer of ash remains across Tongatapu,” it added.

The Ha’atafu Beach Resort on Tongatapu posted that the resort had been “completely wiped out” and “the whole western coastline completely destroyed,” according to family members who were based in Tonga.

It said those living there “just managed to get to safety running through the bushes and escaping,” and were “not able to save anything”.

It’s likely to take “at least two weeks before international phones and internet are working again,” due to the damage on a critical submarine cable due to the volcanic eruption.


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