In Tonga, "ash is everywhere"

“Local operators in Tongatapu have confirmed that ash is everywhere, power lines are unstable and there is no communication with other offshore islands. »

Ten days ago, the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai submarine volcano erupted. This earthquake of rare intensity caused a destructive tsunami. After being cut off from the world, the Tongas are gradually revealing to the world the extent of the damage, roads and bridges damaged, houses damaged or destroyed. On Mango Island, all the houses were destroyed.

And what strikes first is the thick layer of ash that covers everything.

Caritas, an organization “inspired by the Catholic faith” which presents itself as “the helping hand of the Church”. Caritas New Zealand was able to send a satellite telephone to the area thanks to the New Zealand army, and thus establish contact with Caritas Tonga. A member of Caritas Australia was thus able to make an initial inventory in comments taken up by Asia News.

“Local operators in Tongatapu have confirmed that ash is everywhere, power lines are unstable and there is no communication with other offshore islands. »

Damaris Pfendt, Caritas Australia's humanitarian coordinator for the Pacific, explains the lack of drinking water, while according to the organization, "nearly 80% of the population of Tonga has been affected by the disaster".

“Many communities will be left without drinking water. Tonga already struggles to get clean drinking water because it relies on groundwater, which will put communities in a very difficult position. »

Caritas has already been able to begin responding to the emergency with essential supplies the organization already had in Tonga, such as "water purification units, jerry cans, hygiene kits, buckets and water taps. water ". Water purification and first aid kits are also arriving; but faced with the scale of the devastation, the organization launched a call for donations.

MC

Image: Tada Images / Shutterstock.com

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