Tonga volcano: distress signal detected in low-lying islands after eruption, as first death reported
By SEAMLESS DAILY
18 January 2022
A distress signal has been detected in an isolated, low-lying group of islands in the Tonga after an undersea volcano erupted near the South Pacific island on Sunday.
According to the government, 36 people live on Mango and 69 on Fonoi.
The news comes as most communication between Tonga and the outside world is still cut off, after the Pacific nation's main communication cable was broken by the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha ’ apai volcano and subsequent tsunami.
Southern Cross is assisting Tonga Cable Limited which owns the 872-km cable linking Tonga with Fiji- and from there to the rest of the world, AFP reports.
The spokesperson said reports indicated that "while timing is currently unconfirmed it is likely to be one to two weeks before they have repaired the cable, conditions willing".
"We are particularly concerned about two small low-lying islands – Mango and Fonoi – following New Zealand and Australian surveillance flights confirming substantial property damage," they said.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday that boulders and boats had washed ashore on Tongatapu, Tonga's largest island, about 65km south of the volcano.
Angela Glover, from Brighton, disappeared and was swept away by the water- her body was later found during a search organised by her husband.
The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs ( OCHA ) said there had been no contact from the Ha'apai group of islands and there was "particular concern" about two small low-lying islands- Fonoi and Mango, where an active distress beacon had been detected.
The uninhabited volcanic island of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai all but disappeared following the blast, according to satellite images from around 12 hours later, as it was blanketed in clouds of volcanic ash.
The impact of the eruption was felt as far away as Fiji, New Zealand, the US, and Japan and two people drowned off a beach in northern Peru due to high waves caused by the tsunami.
they were also assisting with satellite calls, tonga's deputy head of mission in australia, curtis tu'ihalangingie said.
Authorities in New Zealand confirm that an undersea cable linking Tonga to Fiji has been damaged.
It is believed to be the worst volcanic eruption the Pacific has experienced in decades, with up to 80,000 people affected.
australia and new zealand send planes to tonga to assess the damage.
after the eruption enveloping the main island was blanketed in ash and its western coastline is said to be devastated.
"it could take up to two weeks to fully restore communications in tonga after a massive volcanic blast that triggered a tsunami.
Some of the islands' communications and power have now been restored, but the internet may be out for a while longer because of damage to an undersea cable.
The nearest cable-laying vessel is in Port Moresby," he added, referring to the Papua New Guinea capital, more than 4,000 km ( 2,500 miles ) from Tonga.
The underwater volcano erupted on Saturday, sending a plume of ash into the sky and triggering warnings of 1.2m ( 4ft ) waves reaching Tonga.
Stay up to date with our posts
Seamless Daily is an innovative news platform that is updated 24/7 to help you keep up to date with all the current events around the globe.
Our team of professional editors as well as our state-of-the-art artificial intelligence platforms ensure that our curation is accurate, fact-checked, and trustworthy.