Latest developments from New Zealand and the Pacific after Tonga tsunami and eruption

Reports are starting to trickle in from Tongan families who are re-connecting with loved ones in parts of Tonga.

16th January, 2022

Latest developments from New Zealand and the Pacific after Tonga tsunami and eruption

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The massive undersea volcano eruption in Tonga on 15 January, 2022. Photo/Tonga Meteorological Services/ yePress via AFP

Reports are starting to trickle in from Tongan families who are re-connecting with loved ones in parts of Tonga, while Japan and NSW evacuate coastal residents.

Phone lines and internet remain down for much of Tonga, but people are beginning to share information on social media after speaking to loved ones.

There are unconfirmed reports that the tsunami advisory in Tonga is still active and that Tonga's Prime Minister has authorised bakeries, petrol stations and shops to provide necessities.

There have been no official reports of casualties in Tonga and Save The Children has reported one person is missing in Nuku'alofa.

There are reports that the villages of Sopu, Kolomotua, Kolofo'ou, Ma'ufanga, Patangata have been affected by the tsunami, especially areas near Vuna Road.

Unofficial reports that the villages of Fanga and Havelu are less affected than other areas.

In a press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said communication as a result of the eruption had been difficult but the New Zealand Defence Force and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs were working to establish what what needed and how to help.

New Zealand's High Commission in Nuku'alofa is in contact with local authorities and damage assessments were underway.

An NZDF P3 Orion is on standby to fly over the area once atmospheric conditions allow.

There are currently 30 New Zealanders registered as being in Tonga.- RNZ