Tuesday, March 21, 2023
HomeNewsInternational Aid for Tonga Ramps Up to Help the Tsunami-Ravaged Nation

International Aid for Tonga Ramps Up to Help the Tsunami-Ravaged Nation

As additional nations deploy ships and aircraft to Tonga in the aftermath of Saturday’s volcanic explosion, aid is filtering in from all around the world.

Tsunami waves were caused by the undersea explosion, killing at least three persons in Tonga.

It wreaked havoc on communications and inflicted enormous damage; the full amount of the destruction is yet unclear.

The first major supply ship is anticipated to arrive on Friday from New Zealand.

Earlier this week, the captain of the HMNZS Aotearoa told Reuters that the ship was carrying 250,000 litres of water as well as other supplies. According to the United Nations, the Pacific nation’s top issue is access to clean water.

The HMAS Adelaide, Australia’s biggest ship, sailed from Sydney to Tonga on Friday. The ship can transport supplies to Tonga’s smaller outlying islands using helicopters that may be launched from the ship. That ship is expected to arrive in the middle of next week.

On Friday, the UK confirmed that the HMS Spey would be redeploying to the Tongan response, and that assistance supplies would be dispatched ahead of the Australian ship.

“The United Kingdom will work closely with Australia and New Zealand to assist with the recovery effort in Tonga, and we stand ready to support our long-standing Commonwealth ally,” UK Defence Minister Ben Wallace said.

The worldwide reaction was hampered in the days following the explosion by a layer of volcanic ash that formed a substantial barrier across the island.

To allow emergency relief flights to land, volunteers spent days painstakingly cleaning ash from the runway on Tongatapu’s main island.

The first two aircraft arrived on Thursday, bringing pallets of drinking water, desalination tools, hygiene, shelter, and medical supplies, as well as telecommunications equipment from New Zealand and Australia.

Tongan officials have voiced worry about Covid being imported into the virus-free country, thus efforts have been taken for contact-free distribution.

The naval carriers are anticipated to deliver far more help.

Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper
Brian Cooper is a global reporter for TheOptic, focusing on bringing insights and developments for global and local breaking news daily. With almost seven years of experience covering topics from all over the world, Brian strives to make sure you stay up-to-date with what's going on in the world.
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