Tsunami-hit Tonga remains cut off; distress signal detected

WION Web Team
Australia Updated: Jan 18, 2022, 08:06 AM(IST)

An eruption occurred in Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai off Tonga Photograph:( AFP )

Story highlights

Reports claim a British national Angela Glover was killed in the tsunami even as New Zealand and Australian governments said they had sent surveillance flights to assess the damage in Tonga

At least one person has died after an underwater volcanic blast near the Pacific island nation of Tonga triggered a tsunami warning two days ago.

Communication lines remain disrupted with the airport closed as reports said there has been large scale damage along the western coast of Tonga.

Reports claim a British national Angela Glover, 50, was killed in the tsunami. There is are still no official reports of the likely death toll as the island remains cut off as reports claim the airport is covered in dust and is likely to reopen on Wednesday.

Also Read in Pics: These satellite images show Tonga volcano before and after eruption

However, the UN said a distress signal was detected in the Ha'apai islands group with destruction reported in Nomuka island.

The UN humanitarian affairs coordination group said further volcanic activity cannot be ruled out. Amid reports of damage, New Zealand and Australian governments said they had sent surveillance flights to assess the damage with beaches showing significant damage.

Watch: Tonga calls for 'immediate aid' as another large eruption detected

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the damage caused due to the volcano was "significant" with the French government also pledging to help. 

Australia has put its naval ship HMAS Adelaide on standby even as New Zealand said its C-130 aircraft was ready to fly into Tonga.

The impact of the tsunami wave was reportedly felt as far away in the United States and Japan as reports claimed two people drowned off a beach in Peru. Satellite images showed the island of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai has almost been wiped off.

The island nation's cable and phone lines are down as reports claim the Tongan capital Nuku'alofa is covered in ash with rescue efforts hampered due to stalled communication lines. 

(With inputs from Agencies)

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