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Tonga: Volcanic Eruption - Flash Update #6 (As of 21 January 2022)

Publication date

Situation Overview

Initial Damage Assessments (IDAs) are continuing.

Access to safe water still remains an issue across Tonga. Households on Tongatapu are still relying on bottled water and rainwater in tanks for drinking and cooking. Bottled water is running out in shops, and some households are not using rainwater from tanks given potential ash contamination. The Western District on Tongatapu (population approx. 2,000) does not have access to drinking water and water will need to be trucked in over the coming days. Ground water on the main islands of Ha’apai is also unsafe for drinking due to high saltwater contamination.

Reconnaissance flights confirmed yesterday that Niuas and Vava’u have only experienced light ash coverage and no notable damage.

The Government of Tonga has reinstated the 72-hour quarantine requirement for all cargo arriving in-country, except for water.

The Tongan Government held a press conference today, announcing a cash grant to households that have sustained severe damage, a monthly stipend to the elderly and those with disabilities.

The port facilities were inspected by the New Zealand navy and declared fit for service

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