Tonga

Tonga: Volcanic Eruption Situation Report No.2 (As of 28 January 2022)

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This report is produced by OCHA Office of the Pacific Islands (OoP) in collaboration with humanitarian partners. It covers the period from 26-28 January 2022. The next report will be issued on or around 03 February.

HIGHLIGHTS

• A magnitude 6.2 earthquake struck about 219 km (136.1 miles) west-northwest of Pangai, Tonga, on Thursday 27 January. No reported injuries, death, and damages.

• Across Tongatapu 90% of power has been restored as work continues for full restoration.

• Efforts continue with the clearing of ash debris and coordinating relief distribution to affected communities.

• NEMO and humanitarian partners have established 16 water stations areas around Tongatapu.

• The areas of Popua, Patangata, Kanokupolu, and Ahau have been sprayed for vector control and decontamination. Tap water in these areas have been tested. The ground water has been chlorinated for safety.

• 293 houses have been damaged or affected by the volcanic eruption and tsunami according to government figures; the majority in Tongatapu.

• 1,525 people are still displaced according to initial findings by IOM.

• Inter-island communication restoration and cable repair work continues.

• Initial Damage Assessments (IDA) have been mainly concluded. Data are expected in the coming days. Various verification processes are still ongoing.

SITUATION OVERVIEW

• An earthquake with the magnitude of 6.2 struck about 219 km west-northwest of Pangai on 27 January. No reported injuries or damages. It reminded all again that volcanic activity can still start any moment.

• As communication is gradually being restored, work continues with cable repair and inter-islands communication. The internet connectivity is available, however, limited. Telecommunication providers of Digicel and Tonga Communications Corporation (TCC) have intermittent internet capacity. Furthermore, Digicel is awaiting equipment (in quarantine) to restore some of its services. The repair of the undersea cable will take weeks. Power across Tongatapu has been 90% restored as work continues for full restoration.

• IDA assessments have been mostly concluded and data are now being triangulated and analyzed. According to NEMO they should be available to government entities over the weekend. They will then be presented to the National Emergency Management Committee early next week upon which they should be shared with partners.

• According to government situation reports, 293 houses have been damaged or affected. The majority (174) can be found in Tongatapu, followed by ‘Eua (75), Fonoifua and Pangai (16 each) and Mango (12).

• Water is still the main challenge. To support access to safe drinking water NEMO and humanitarian partners have established 16 water station areas around Tongatapu. Additionally, bulk water is being supplied, providing more than 415,000 litres of fresh drinking water for Tongan communities.

• The Fua'amotu International Airport is operational. However, heavy machinery is needed to clear runaways in Vava'u and Ha'apai. Domestic travel is currently limited. The cleanup has been completed of the port in Nuku’alofa.

• NEMO and humanitarian partners on the ground have been carrying out relief distributions (NFIs such as kitchen and household kits, hygiene and dignity kits, tarpaulins, tents, shelter tool kits, but also water and food rations) in Tongatapu and in the Ha’apai Island group.

Disclaimer

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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