A Royal New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules landed in Tonga's Fua'amotu International Airport, a defence spokesperson said, after a blanket of volcanic ash was cleared off the runway.
The latest eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano came just a few hours after Friday's tsunami warning was lifted. It lasted at least eight minutes and sent plumes of gas, ash and smoke several kilometres into the air
Tonga police told the New Zealand High Commission that the confirmed death toll stood at two but with communications in the South Pacific island nation cut, the true extent of casualties was not clear.
The capital Nuku'alofa suffered "significant" damage, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, adding there had been no reports of injury or death but a full assessment was not yet possible with communication lines down.
It released an enormous pressure wave that traversed the planet, travelling at supersonic speed at about 1,231 kilometres per hour (764 miles per hour), New Zealand's National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research said.
Authorities in Tonga, hit by a massive volcanic eruption and a tsunami on Jan. 15, have asked for aid to be delivered without human contact amid concerns a COVID outbreak would be devastating for the tiny Pacific island nation.
A top official in neighbouring Fiji tweeted that a team from Musk's SpaceX company was in Fiji establishing a station that would help reconnect Tonga through SpaceX satellites.
The far-flung archipelago kingdom, Tonga, found itself stranded after the eruption of an underwater volcano, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, on Saturday (January 15)and the islands were blanketed under ash spewed by the volcano, and the tsunami wave the eruption
To many of us living in the UAE, Tonga may be hundreds of miles away in the Pacific Ocean, an insignificant part of our lives for its utter remoteness. But a natural disaster, and not an ordinary one, can change things, even attitudes. The world is small, and it has become