Tonga tsunami sparks ‘unprecedented disaster’, government says
Tonga has released its first government update after a volcanic eruption triggered a Tsunami. Tonga said it had been hit by an unprecedented disaster and confirmed three deaths, two locals and one British national. The smaller outlying islands were particularly affected with all of the houses destroyed or just one to two left.
Aid efforts are hampered by falling ash from the volcano. Runways have been cleared by volunteers to allow airplanes to bring drinking water and other supplies to land. The single underwater cable connecting Tonga to the rest of the world was severed in the eruption and communications with the islands have been disrupted. Local phone services remain available, however the internet is not available after the disaster. The United Nations and World Health Organizations have been communicating with the Tongan government using a satellite phone.