Anxious Wait For Overseas Tongans After Huge Eruption


Anxious wait for overseas Tongans after huge eruption

Wellington, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 17th Jan, 2022 ) :Overseas Tongans waited anxiously for news of loved ones Monday after a volcanic eruption and tsunami severed communications with the Pacific kingdom.

Concerns among the 85,000-strong Tongan community in New Zealand were heightened by news it could be two weeks before communications are restored.

Besides leaving people in the dark about the fate of family, the internet cut threatened to hurt Tongans reliant on money transfers from relatives overseas.

"I think the worst part is the blackout and the fact that we know nothing," said Filipo Motulalo, a New Zealand-based journalist with Pacific Media Network.

"There is no communication," he added.

"Our home is among those close to the area that was flooded already so we don't know how much damage there is." New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said officials had made satellite contact with the country's high commission in Nuku'alofa after the powerful Hunga-Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption.

The blast triggered a tsunami that swept Pacific coastlines from Japan to the United States.

New Zealand was informed that there had been no reports of death or injury in the capital, but there was "significant" damage in some areas.