According to Nasa, a volcanic explosion in Tonga that caused a tsunami was hundreds of times more powerful than the atomic bomb fired on Hiroshima during World War II. According to the AFP, the eruption “obliterated” a volcanic island north of Tongan capital Nuku’alofa.
According to Tonga, the tsunami and falling ash have harmed more than four-fifths of the population. Last week’s tsunami claimed the lives of three persons. The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic island was two independent islands before the eruption, linked by new land generated in 2015.
According to Nasa, the eruption was so violent that all of the new land was destroyed, as well as “large chunks” of the two older islands.
Tongan officials have faced a major problem as a result of the eruption’s broad release of volcanic ash, gases, and particles.
In the early aftermath of the eruption and tsunami, there were worries that the heavy covering of ash had poisoned water supplies, raising the risk of illnesses like as cholera and diarrhoea. Officials did highlight, however, that tests in recent days has cleared ground water and rains as safe to consume.
However, fine volcanic ash and pollutants continue to endanger human health. Exposure has the potential to impair respiration, harm the cardiovascular system, and irritate the lungs, eyes, and skin.
The administration reported in an update that 62 inhabitants on Mango, one of the worst-affected islands, had to be moved to the outer island of Nomuka “after losing their homes and all of their personal belongings”
However, the administration stated that many of those individuals may be relocated to the main island of Tongatapu owing to a scarcity of food and supplies.
It was also said that there were less than two dozen injuries, the most of which were caused by Nomuka.
After the current clinic was destroyed by the tsunami, rescuers established a field hospital there. Ships and aircraft providing international supplies have begun arriving in Tonga since last week, when the island’s single airport runway was finally cleared of ash.
New Zealand and Australia have spearheaded the international response, using their air force and navy carriers to drop supplies like as water, food, hygiene kits, and tents, as well as water-treatment and telecommunications repair equipment, without making contact.
The secluded archipelago was shut off for five days after the blasts broke the only fiber-optic sea connection connecting the island to the internet.
Last week, a shaky phone line was reconnected, allowing “limited international phone calls”
Communication between Tongatapu, the main island, and the outer islands, however, remains “an acute challenge” according to a Tongan government statement.
They also stated that a ship will be arriving this week to fix the internet wire. Firms had previously predicted that repairing the cable may take up to four weeks.
Foreign help has greatly increased the flow of information from the devastated island.
Due to Covid’s misgivings, all assistance work is still being done by locals through organizations such as the Red Cross. Tonga, which is practically Covid-free, has requested that no foreign assistance workers enter the nation in order to prevent an epidemic.