20 JANUARY 2022
FIRST FOREIGN AID REACHES IN TONGA
The first foreign aid Plane carrying emergency supplies landed at Tonga’s airport on 20 January 2022, after the Saturday’s eruption of a huge volcano and tsunami wave that crippled the Pacific island, Tonga.
At least three people died amid severe destruction and heavy threat to the entire island was reported. The ash and sea water have contaminated water systems and rescue operations are continuing in the Island. Communications and electricity service were disrupted, rescue teams and volunteers were working to re-establish global contact during these days.
New Zealand’s military plane landed on the island carrying water and essential supplies including medicines, temporary shelter kits, electricity generators and other hygiene kits and communication equipment. Australia’s two Planes carrying essential supplies also will be landing in the Pacific nation.
New Zealand’s naval ship will be reaching the island with essential supplies.
The UN World Health Organisation, WHO has reported that many people are still missing and the Mango and Fonoi islands are a “particular cause of concern” showing widespread damage to buildings as per the images from UN Satellite Center (UNOSAT) and on the island of Nomuka many structures have been damaged, all are covered by ash.
Tongatapu, the main island is covered by around two centimeters of volcanic dust and ash, raising concerns of air, reports UN News.
The World Health Organisation also reported that the government of Tonga reacted quickly and deployed war ships to the Ha’apai islands, which was heavily affected, with a team of WHO-trained Emergency Medical Assistance Team on board.
An emergency relief service is also coordinated by the Pacific Humanitarian Team (PHY) which coordinates UN agencies, the Red Cross and other NGOs to provide emergency support in the island.
“UN Health team has been sent to set up a temporary clinic and supply of emergency aid including food, water and tents,” said Jonathan Veitch, Resident Coordinator ad interim for the Pacific Islands, reports UN News on 18 January 2022.