The Tongan Government has asked for “immediate assistance” after a massive underwater volcano erupted over the weekend, followed by a tsunami.
Most communications to the nation have been disrupted and even the Tongan Government has been unable to update its websites. The extent of the damage and harm is currently unknown.
Australia’s Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said on Sunday that Australia is “ready to immediately respond to requests for assistance” from Tonga.
Seselja has also said that while there are no reports of mass casualties as of yet, there is “significant damage” to property, roads and bridges in Tonga.
Both Australia and New Zealand have announced they will send surveillance flights to assess the damage caused by the eruption. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also pledged an initial support package of $NZ 500,000.
Speaking to to 2GB today, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “We’re working to get as much support to Tonga as we possibly can.
“They’re part of our Pacific family, and … like all of those island nations, we’re always there to support and we certainly will be on this occasion,” he added.