Tonga | Volcano and Tsunami – Operation update #3 (Six month report), Emergency Appeal N° MDRTO002 – Tonga

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This emergency appeal was increased from CHF 2,500,000 to CHF 4,000,000 on April 6, 2022. Based on firm and indirect pledges, the emergency appeal is currently fully funded.

With funding from the appeal, the Tonga Red Cross Society (TRCS) and IFRC will assist approximately 17,000 people (2,833 households) affected by the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai (HTHH) volcano and tsunami. The Appeal’s contributions will enable the IFRC and the TRCS to meet the main needs of the target population and support them in their recovery from the crisis. The funds will also strengthen the ability of TRCS to respond in the future and build community resilience to future shocks.

The operational strategy is available here

A. ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION

Description of the crisis

The eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano on January 15, 2022 was the largest recorded since the eruption of Krakatoa in 1883. The eruption triggered tsunami waves of up to 15m that hit the west coast of Tongatapu, ‘Eua and Ha’apai. The ashfall covered an area of ​​at least five square kilometers.

Damage to international and domestic undersea telecommunications meant little information was available from Tonga after the eruption. However, New Zealand Defense Force and Australian Defense Force surveillance flights on January 17 showed extensive damage to homes, roads, water tanks and other infrastructure on the west coast of Tongatapu. , the Ha’apai group of islands and the west coast of Eua. On January 18, the Prime Minister of Tonga declared a state of emergency effective January 16. The Tongan government and TRCS have requested international assistance.

Only three direct deaths and one indirect death have been officially attributed to the volcano and the tsunami. According to initial government estimates, 84,176 people (84% of the population) in Tongatapu, Ha’apai and ‘Eua) were affected, particularly by the ashfall. About 3,000 people were displaced immediately afterwards, including some evacuated from badly affected islands off Tongatapu and in the Ha’apai group of islands. Most subsequently returned to their communities, although some families evacuated from the badly affected islands remain in Tongatapu.


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