Tonga Reveals 50 Foot Tsunami Destroyed All Houses on One Island and Destroyed All the Houses on Another Island Except for Just Two in ‘Unprecedented Disaster’: New Pictures Capture the Ash-Covered Polynesian Kingdom

At least three people have been killed and more injured after a 50ft tsunami triggered by an underwater volcano exploding slammed into Tonga, the government has said in its first update since the ‘unprecedented disaster’.

The dead include a 65-year-old woman on Mango Island, a 49-year-old man on Nomuka Island, and 50-year-old Briton Angela Glover who was found dead on Tongatapu Island on Monday.

An entire village on Mango Island has been swept away by the tsunami, the government said today, with just two buildings left standing on Fonoifua Island. Namuka Island also has ‘extensive damage’.

Rescue operations including evacuations of Mango, Fonoifua and Atata islands are underway, with ‘a number of’ injuries also reported – though government officials could not say how many.

Communications from Tonga, a remote set of Pacific islands with a population of 105,000, have been sparse since disaster struck late Saturday when the Hunga-Tonga volcano dramatically exploded – sparking a tsunami, covering nearby islands in ash, and severing an undersea internet cable connecting the country with the outside world.

While early reports from the islands were encouraging, as the days have gone on the picture has darkened. Aid workers on the main island of Tongatapu say the death toll there is likely to be limited, but fears are growing for hundreds of people who live on smaller outlying islands and have not been heard from since the eruption.

Reconnaissance planes from the Australian and New Zealand air forces circled some of the islands on Monday, giving a glimpse of the conditions being faced by survivors – moon-like landscapes covered in thick ash, buildings flattened, and people living under tarpaulins.

Aid efforts are being hampered by damage to the islands’ main port and airport, but also by the country’s strict zero-Covid policy which could see aid shipments and workers quarantined to stop a ‘tsunami of Covid’.

Tonga has recorded just one official case in a traveller from New Zealand who tested positive in isolation in October last year, and is determined to keep it that way. Ministers have already warned their counterparts in New Zealand and Australia, which are coordinating aid efforts, that virus protocols will be applied to rescuers.

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Source: Daily Mail