Tonga volcano: How much damage did it cause? | DW News

DW News published this video item, entitled “Tonga volcano: How much damage did it cause? | DW News” – below is their description.

A closed airport and lack of communication have continued to hinder international relief measures on the Pacific island nation of Tonga after Saturday’s massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, even as significant damage was reported along the western coast of the country’s main island on Tuesday. The New Zealand High Commission reported damage on the island of Tongatapu, which is home to many holiday resorts, and the waterfront of capital Nuku’alofa. The United Nations also said that satellite visuals showed extensive damage on the western coast of Tongatapu, with several resorts and houses destroyed or severely damaged.

The official toll of deaths, injuries and damage from the disaster is still unclear, as the South Pacific archipelago has remained severed from the rest of the world after its main undersea communications cable was cut during the eruption on the uninhabited volcanic island of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai. In the first known death from the catastrophe, British national Angela Glover, 50, was killed in the tsunami as she attempted to save dogs at a rescue shelter she had set up with her husband in Tonga, her brother said. High waves from the eruption also caused two deaths in faraway Peru, where two women drowned. The country also reported an oil spill after a ship was affected while transferring oil at a refinery. “We don’t have any further information that would suggest… significant casualties, although, as you would appreciate, information is still relatively patchy,” Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said on Nine’s Today show on Tuesday.

He said the airport could likely open by Wednesday, with volcanic ash currently preventing planes from landing safely.

The UN said on Tuesday that it had detected a distress beacon from Tonga. eThe UN office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) expressed concern about the small low-lying islands of Mango and Fonoi. An active distress signal was detected from Mango. “Communication is still the most challenging single issue as internet and international phone lines are still out of order,” the OCHA said. “Satellite phones are the only reliable instrument for communication with the outside but they, too, do not always work reliably.” Meanwhile, the New Zealand High Commission said that it was trying to establish communications with smaller islands “as a matter of priority.” The eruption triggered atmospheric shockwaves and unusually large waves that traveled as far as Alaska, Japan and South America.

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