Tonga : Ash coated runway hampers with relief efforts

Tonga : Ash coated runway hampers with relief efforts

Tonga : Ash coated runway hampers with relief efforts

Ash cloaking a runway has hampered relief efforts to Tonga, as the scale of the damage from a volcanic eruption and a tsunami becomes clear. New Zealand is trying to send clean drinking water and other supplies but planes cannot land at the main airport. Some of Tonga’s small outlying islands have suffered substantial damage, aid agencies say.

New Zealand’s military is sending much-needed drinking water and other supplies, but said the ash on the runway will delay the flight at least a day. A towering ash cloud since Saturday’s eruption had prevented earlier flights. New Zealand is also sending two navy ships to Tonga that will leave Tuesday and pledged an initial 1 million New Zealand dollars ($680,000) toward recovery efforts.

Read : Tonga volcano causes ‘significant’ damage

A spokesperson for Southern Cross Cable, which operates other undersea cable networks across the region, said that testing by Fintel and Tonga Cable on Sunday afternoon “seems to confirm a likely cable break around 37km offshore from Tonga”