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Tonga Volcanic Eruption Damages Seriously… “The ash is covered like a blanket”

The recent subsea volcanic eruption near Tonga in the South Pacific has caused chain damage such as tsunamis and volcanic ash in the Pacific Islands and Pacific Rim countries.

According to CNN of the United States on the 17th (local time), a submarine volcano near Tonga has erupted three times in the past four days, and it is covered with large-scale volcanic ash, making it difficult to understand and restore the damage.

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology said there was an eruption at Hunga Hapai volcano in Tonga, Tonga, but no tsunami warning was issued. On the same day, Australia and New Zealand launched reconnaissance planes to determine the extent of the damage.

New Zealand’s embassy in Tonga said that facilities on the west coast of Tongatapu Island, a densely populated resort area, and Nuku’alofa Beach, were severely damaged. Australian police, who surveyed the coast, said the Tonga beach had suffered massive damage and that “houses had been abandoned”.

Australia’s International Development and Pacific Minister Jed Seselza said: “The damage to resorts is serious,” adding that Tonga Airport suffered relatively little damage.

Then, Minister Seselza told ABC TV that “there were no major casualties” from the volcanic eruption.

However, the UN said it had detected a distress signal on the 17th, and expressed concern over the safety of the residents of Tonga’s Phonoi and Mango Islands. The Tongan government previously said that there were 69 people living on Phonoi Island and 36 people living on Mango Island.

Tonga currently has major communication lines cut off due to the effects of the volcanic eruption, and it is expected that it will take several weeks to restore normal contact.

In addition, the secondary damage caused by volcanic ash is serious, the British daily The Guardian reported.

Massive ash from the eruption covered Tonga like a blanket over the weekend. As a result, thick clouds of ash turned the skies over the area gray.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on the 16th that after contacting the embassy in Tonga, “volcanic ash clouds are causing serious pollution”.

‘Save the Children’, an international child aid organization, said volcanic ash and smoke pollution is disrupting safe drinking water supplies in Tonga.

In response, Alexander Mateu, director of the Asia-Pacific Division of the Red Cross, said that the urgent priority was to purify contaminated drinking water and provide shelter for evacuation.

The volcanic ash cloud flew west and was observed in Fiji, New Zealand, and New Caledonia on the 16th, and it is said that it reached Queensland, Australia on the 17th.

As a result, on the morning of the 17th, an Australian reconnaissance plane to determine the extent of damage took off due to volcanic ash.

Australia’s Queensland Meteorological Agency posted on social media, “If you’ve seen a particularly spectacular sunrise, it’s because the sunlight is scattered by the ash from the eruption of the Tonga Volcano.”

Experts estimated that the eruption on the 15th was the largest volcanic eruption on Earth in the past 30 years.

A 1.2m wave was recorded on the 15th near Nuku’alofa, Tongatapu, the largest island in Tonga due to the effects of the volcanic eruption. A tsunami warning was then issued for Pacific island countries such as Fiji, Samoa and Vanuatu.

In addition, tsunami warnings and advisories have been issued for New Zealand, Japan, Peru, parts of the United States and British Columbia, Canada.

A 2.7 m high tsunami was observed in Iwate Prefecture in northeastern Japan, followed by small-scale tsunamis in other areas, NHK reported. On the 16th, it was reported that the tsunami warning was lifted in Japan.

Tsunamis have also been observed in California, Alaska and Hawaii. The San Diego Meteorological Administration said the waves were about 1.2 meters off the west coast of the United States.

The body of 50-year-old Englishman Angela Glover, who went missing in the tsunami in Tonga on the 15th, was found, the Glover’s family said.

The body of Glover, who went missing while going to the animal shelter to rescue the puppies she had at the time, was found by her husband James after a search. Her husband, who was swept away by the waves with Glover, is known to have survived alone by grabbing a branch.

Glover’s younger brother said, “The whole family is in mourning.”

It is reported that two people drowned in the tsunami on the 15th of the northern coast of Peru.

Katie Greenwood, head of the Pacific branch of the League of Nations of the Red Cross Society, estimated that about 80,000 people were affected by the tsunami following the eruption of the Tonga volcano.

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