Internet connection was restored in Tonga on Tuesday, five weeks after a massive volcanic eruption shredded the undersea cable. Photograph:( Reuters )
Tonga urged for aid assistance to be delivered without human contact amid coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak concerns
India has extended assistance towards the disaster-hit Tonga in order to help the South Pacific nation in relief and reconstruction efforts, the ministry of external affairs informed on Tuesday (January 25).
Tonga was hit by a massive volcanic eruption and a tsunami on January 15 and has asked for aid as there is a scarcity of drinking water and food.
Amid the devastation caused by the disaster, India has extended relief assistance of $ 200,000 to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the nation.
The country has also urged for aid assistance to be delivered without human contact as the authorities are concerned that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak would be devastating for the nation.
In a statement, the ministry informed, "India extends deep sympathy to the Government and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga for the damage and destruction caused by this unprecedented disaster."
"As a close friend and partner under the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) and as a gesture of solidarity with the friendly people of Tonga, Government of India extends an immediate relief assistance of US$ 200,000 to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the Kingdom of Tonga," the statement added.
"India has firmly stood by Tonga during times of crisis and devastation caused by natural disasters, as during Cyclone Gita in 2018. Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is an important pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019," the statement added.