Ash-covered Tonga is like a moonscape say residents

Ash-covered Tonga is like a moonscape say residents
# 16 January 2022 21:16 (UTC +04:00)

A massive volcanic eruption in Tonga that triggered tsunami waves has smothered the Pacific islands in ash, cut power and severed communications, APA reports citing BBC.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the tsunami wreaked "significant damage", washing boats ashore and battering beachside shops.

Information from Tonga is scarce but no deaths have been reported so far.

Locals say Tonga looks "like a moonscape" after being coated in a layer of volcanic ash.

The dust was reportedly contaminating water supplies and making fresh water a vital need, Ms Ardern said.

Aid charities said the ash and smoke had prompted authorities to tell people to drink bottled water and wear face masks to protect their lungs.

The underwater volcano erupted on Saturday, sending a plume of ash into the sky and triggering warnings of 1.2m (4ft) waves reaching Tonga. The eruption was so loud it could be heard in New Zealand, some 2,383km (1,481mi) from Tonga.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED