Power restored and clean-up ongoing in Tonga, 2G established today
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The latest update from Tonga:
- The Tonga Government is responding to efforts on the ground. Power has been restored, and clean-up and damage assessments are ongoing. Relief supplies are being distributed by Tongan authorities. Work to clear the airport runway continues and is expected to be completed today.
- There are 3 confirmed fatalities; a 65-year-old Tongan woman from Mango, a 49-year-old male from Nomuka, and a British national. No further deaths have been reported today.
- Digicel (international mobile phone network provider) has set up an interim system on Tongatapu using the University of South Pacific’s satellite dish which may allow a 2G connection to be established today. This connection will be limited and patchy, covering about 10 percent of usual capacity and prioritising voice and SMS communications.
- US cable company SubCom advises it will take at least four weeks for Tonga’s cable connection to be repaired.
Tongan Government Response:
Overnight, the Tongan government issued it’s first official media release since the eruption. Key information includes:
- Emergency response operations are under way, with initial damage assessments conducted, and relief supplies and health teams deployed to affected areas.
- Limited communication has been made with Vava’u and Ha’apai. There have been no communications with the Niuas but they are considered low risk. Efforts continue to restore communications.
- Evacuations have begun from ‘Atata to Tongatapu and from Mango and Fonoifua to Nomuka.
- Water supplies have been affected by volcanic ash; damage assessments are under way.
- Challenges to sea and air transportation remain due to damage sustained by wharves and ash covering runways.
- Domestic and international flights have been deferred until further notice.
- Volcanic activity and tsunami risk continues to be monitored.
- The Prime Minister has met with the head of each diplomatic mission in Tonga to discuss their support.
NZ Government response:
- · All New Zealanders in Tonga are advised to register their details on www.safetravel.govt.nz(
- · Communications links with Tonga continue to be disrupted so New Zealanders may have difficulties contacting their whānau in Tonga at this time.
- · New Zealanders in Tonga should follow the advice of the local authorities, including any tsunami evacuation orders.
- · If you are a New Zealander and you require consular assistance, or are concerned about a New Zealand citizen in Tonga please contact the New Zealand Consular Emergency line on +64 99 20 20 20.
- · If you are concerned or have lost contact with Tongan citizens who are not New Zealand Citizens, NZ Red Cross has activated their Restoring Family Links system for Tonga – Restoring Family Links: redcross.org.nz(
external link) which may help to connect you with loved ones. We encourage you to visit this website and enter your family members’ details.
Advice on giving:
If you’d like more information on on how to give and support the Tongan tsunami relief efforts, updated advice is available at mfat.co.nz
Source: NZ Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade