The government said TONGA had suffered an “unprecedented disaster” with all the homes on an island destroyed.
Chilling new photos have emerged showing the devastation caused when a volcano erupted, leading to a tsunami that has so far killed three people, including a British charity worker.
As the scale of the disaster began to emerge, the government revealed that all the houses on Mango Island had been destroyed.
Satellite photos show parts of Tonga’s lush green have turned brown, while photos from a New Zealand air force plane also show damage.
Fears are also growing, the death toll could start to rise as communications begin to be restored and more news emerges.
Tonga’s government described the country as having suffered an “unprecedented disaster” in its first statement.
Photos taken by the New Zealand air force showed areas covered in ash and damaged buildings.
More videos have also emerged showing powerful tsunami waves washing ashore and destroying fences as people flee for their lives,
Tongan diplomat Curtis Tu’ihalangingie described the damage as “alarming” and said he feared more deaths.
“There will probably be more deaths and we just pray that’s not the case,” he said.
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That’s when the body of a missing British charity worker Angela Glover, 50, was discovered by her husband James.
An operation is underway to clear volcanic ash at Tonga airport so that relief flights can be carried out carrying vital supplies such as cleaning kits.
Other before and after images show that the island of Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai has completely disappeared after the volcanic eruption.
The main island of Tongatapu has been hit hard, with water damage visible to the north and south.
The volcano last erupted in 2014, which also caused damage to the islands of Uoleva and Nomuka.
Early data suggests the eruption was the largest since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, New Zealand-based volcanologist Shane Cronin told Radio New Zealand.
“This is an eruption best witnessed from space,” he said.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in today’s update: “Further volcanic activity cannot be ruled out.
It added that official assessments have yet to be published because communications have been hit hard.
According to the Tongan government, 36 people live on Mango and 69 people on Fonoi.
Two more people drowned off the coast of Peru after the tsunami caused high waves.
The eruption’s impact was felt as far away as Fiji, New Zealand, the United States and Japan.
Aid workers have warned Tonga’s 80,000 residents could be affected.
Australia and New Zealand sent surveillance flights today to assess the damage.
Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said Australian police had reached the beaches and reported significant damage with “houses thrown around”.
Haatafu Beach Resort, on the Hihifo peninsula, 13 kilometers west of the capital Nukualofa, has been completely wiped out, the owner said on Facebook.
The family that runs the resort searched for their lives to escape the tsunami, it said. The resort says the entire west coast has been completely destroyed along with the village of Kanukupolu.
The Red Cross said it was mobilizing its network to respond to what it called the worst volcanic eruption the Pacific Ocean has experienced in decades.
https://www.thesun.ie/news/8224791/all-homes-destroyed-tonga-disaster/ ALL homes destroyed on Tonga island as ‘unprecedented disaster’ kills 3 and chilling new photos show utter devastation