The Tonga Ministry of Foreign Affairs confirmed three people dead, including a woman of British origin, after the tsunami that hit the country last Saturday caused by the eruption of a volcano in the South Pacific island nation.
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The other two deceased are a 65-year-old woman from Mango Island and a 49-year-old man from Nomuka Island. The victims have not been identified. In addition, all the houses on Mango Island were destroyed and few houses remain standing on Fonoifua Island. Likewise, great damage was recorded in Nomuka.
In turn, the coordinator of the United Nations, Jonathan Veitch, who is currently in Fiji, pointed out that some areas of the country remain isolated, made up of 169 islands, many of them raised only a few meters above sea level.
Similarly, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) announced in a statement that there is significant damage to homes and beach resorts on Tongatapu, the country’s main island, including the coastal area with hotels in the country capital.
OCHA explained that there is still no contact with the residents of the Ha’pai archipelago, and that they remain aware of Mango and Fonoi from where distress signals were detected.
Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai is a submarine volcano with a long record of activity that is located 65 kilometers north of Nuku’alofa. This Saturday it began to release steam and ash about 20 kilometers high and favored the creation of a tsunami that impacted several Pacific countries such as the United States, Australia, Chile and Japan.
The Red Cross estimates that about 80,000 of the 105,000 inhabitants could have been affected by natural phenomena and experts believe that more volcanic activity could occur.