Distress Signal Detected in Tonga in Wake of Powerful Volcano Eruption and Tsunami
© APU GOMESA surfer drops a wave in Venice beach on January 15, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. A tsunami advisory was in effect for the West Coast of the United States as well as Hawaii and Alaska after an undersea volcano erupted in the Pacific Ocean near Tonga.
© APU GOMES
On Saturday, the Hunga-Tonga Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano erupted, triggering tsunami alerts in the Pacific nations.
A distress signal has been detected in the low-lying group of islands in the Tonga archipelago following a strong eruption of the undersea volcano last Saturday and subsequent tsunami alert for the entire South Pacific region, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said in the update on Monday.
"An active distress beacon had been detected from Mango. New Zealand and Australia carried out surveillance flight today and the latter reported substantial property damage at the western beaches region," the update reads.
According to the Tonga government, 36 people live on Mango.
The UN Satellite Centre has been sharing the latest updates on the volcanic eruption in Tonga.
"Further volcanic activity cannot be ruled out," the OCHA said, adding that although only minor injuries have been reported following the eruption and tsunami, more information is yet to come since local communication services were badly hit by the disaster, leaving people in some areas completely isolated from the rest of the world.
British woman Angela Glover, who ran a dog charity in Tonga, was washed away while trying to save her dogs, her brother located in Sydney told reporters. Two more people drowned off a beach in northern Peru due to abnormally high waves triggered by the Tonga volcanic eruption.