The island of the Hunga Tonga volcano almost completely disappears after the eruption
Satellite images captured by the European Union Earth Observation Program Copernicus show that the tongan volcano, whose violent eruption caused a tsunami in the Pacific Ocean, It has practically disappeared after the explosion recorded on Saturday, one of the most powerful in three decades.
These photographs reveal that following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai volcano, only two small portions of land above sea level.
The volcanic island is almost completely wiped out
— Copernicus EU (@CopernicusEU) January 16, 2022
Before the strong explosion, these two surviving portions – part of the cone of the volcano submarine– were much larger and linked by a tongue of land up to 1.2 kilometers wide.
At least two victims
Communications with Tonga continue to be scarce three days after the volcano’s eruption, which occurred about 65 kilometers north of the island of Tongatapu -the most inhabitable in the archipelago- and the subsequent tsunami. So far, at least two deaths have been confirmed, although the authorities believe that the number of victims will be higher.
At the moment, at least one death has been confirmed, although the authorities believe that the number of victims will be higher.
“Communications will be critical to relief efforts following Saturday’s volcanic eruption in Tonga. The Australian and New Zealand defense forces have support ships that can deliver tons of supplies. However, it will be necessary to coordinate efforts with other nations, such as China,” he says. Tom Worthington, adjunct professor at Australian National University al Australian Science Media Center.
Australian and New Zealand planes have flown over part of Tonga, made up of 169 islands and with 105,000 inhabitants, in reconnaissance tasks to assess the damage caused by the eruption and the tsunami, which affected the coasts of countries such as Australia, Japan, Chile, among others. others.
“As far as we know, Tonga has suffered significant damage to houses and infrastructure, but there has not been a large number of casualties. The first reports suggest that the airport has not suffered significant damage”, he comments. Suzanne Wilkinson, teacher of the massey university (New Zealand) speaking to the New Zealand Science Media Center.
Recovery of the affected area
As Tonga grapples with this devastating catastrophe, the priority of global communities must be to provide immediate help that saves lives. However, experts agree that it is equally important to lay the groundwork for Recovery and the resilience of affected communities in the long term.
The first priority is to provide immediate life-saving aid, but it is also important to lay the foundations for the long-term recovery of this area.
“After providing the basics of life – safety, emergency shelter, food, water, medical supplies and sanitation – you have to think about recovery,” adds Wilkinson.
the same thinks Sandeeka Mannakkara, teacher of the University of Auckland (New Zealand): “At the same time as managing relief efforts, the Tongan authorities must begin comprehensive planning for the short, medium and long-term phases of recovery.”
The violent eruption of Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha’apai, which spewed steam and ash about 20 kilometers high and created a tsunami that impacted several nations bathed by the Pacific Ocean, was heard hundreds of kilometers away and could be seen clearly from satellites in Earth orbit.
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