Tonga

People forced to move within Tonga following volcano and tsunami

Three people were killed and hundreds of homes were destroyed after a tsunami was generated by the massive January eruption. All resorts on the western side of Tongatapu were completely wiped out.

University of Auckland Volcanologist Shane Cronin said there was a resettlement scheme to help people relocate to 'Eua island.

Convicted Tongan MPs given stay by appeals

The quartet includes three cabinet ministers, the Deputy Prime Minister Poasi Tei, Finance Minister Tatafu Moeaki, and Sangster Saulala, along with the former Prime Minister Pohiva Tu'i'onetoa.

They lost their seats when accusations of bribery of voters ahead of last year's election were proven.

RNZ Pacific's Tongan correspondent said, now, with all the ministers able to stay, the Tongan Parliament, which has been deferred twice in the past two weeks, is likely to sit next week.

Kalafi Moala said getting the Budget passed is the critical thing for the government.

Tonga’s Ministry of Education and Training launches new TVET Coordination Unit

The resourcing for the TVET Unit is being supported by the Australian Government through the Australia Pacific Training Coalition (APTC). This includes human resourcing needs for the first year of operations and new office equipment, furniture, electronics and laptops.

The Unit will support the Ministry in implementing Tonga’s TVET Policy Framework and strengthen collaboration and coordination across Tongan TVET stakeholders and enhance linkages between skills and industry demands.

Immense crater hole created in Tonga volcano

The caldera of Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai is now 4km (2.5 miles) wide and drops to a base 850m below sea level.

Before the catastrophic eruption, the base was at a depth of about 150m.

It drives home the scale of the volume of material ejected by the volcano - at least 6.5 cubic km of ash and rock.

"If all of Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga, was scraped to sea level, it would fill only two-thirds of the caldera," Prof Shane Cronin from the University of Auckland, New Zealand, said.

Tonga’s Fisheries Minister in NZ on medical grounds

The Minster of Health has confirmed this to Kaniva News saying Fakahau left Tonga for New Zealand last week for medical tests because the Vaiola hospital’s computerised tomography (CT) scanner stopped working.

Fakahau has joined Viliami Hingano, the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Forestry, who arrived in Auckland in December for medical treatment.

Hingano flew to New Zealand in December for medical tests after the Vaiola hospital’s computerised tomography (CT) scanner stopped working, the Minister of Health told Kaniva News at the time.

Explosive Tonga volcano 'surprisingly intact'

A New Zealand-led team has just finished mapping the flanks of the seamount, which many people thought might have been torn apart in the ferocity of the event.

But structurally, Hunga-Tonga Hunga-Ha'apai hasn't changed that much.

The Tonga eruption produced the biggest atmospheric explosion recorded on Earth in more than a century.

It generated tsunamis across the Pacific and in other ocean basins around the world. It even lifted the clouds over the UK, 16,500km away. Mercifully, only a handful of people lost their lives in the kingdom of Tonga.

Tonga eases restrictions further

From today all businesses, except nightclubs, will be allowed to open for their normal hours.

Meanwhile a midnight to 5am curfew remains in force, and primary and elementary schools remain closed

 

 

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Prime Minister receives new Tonga Police Commissioner

Commander MacLennan, from Australia, paid a courtesy call yesterday on Hu'akavameiliku, who is also the Minister of Police.

Having arrived in the country last week, the new Tonga Police Force Commissioner starts his new role yesterday.

He is contracted as Police Commissioner for three years.

 

 

Photo: PMO Media  Caption: Prime Minister, Hu'akavameiliku (right) with the new Police Commissioner, Commander Shane MacLennan

     

Schools in Tonga will soon resume for secondary students as curfews ease off

The curfew has also eased from midnight to 5am as Covid-19 cases in the Kingdom continue to drop.

Minister of Health Saia Piukala says positive cases over the past three weeks were less than 100 per day.

Students from forms 2, 5, 6 and 7 got the green light to return to school two weeks ago.

Only students in kindergarten and primary schools up to class 6 will remain at home and continue with home schooling programmes implemented by the Ministry of Education.

     

Covid tracing app for Tonga

The Minister of Health, Saia Piukala, said the new app 'Tonga 'a Tautolu' would be available to download this week.

Tonga's Ministry of Health reports there are 871 active cases.

There have been 11 Covid deaths since the outbreak started.

Ninety one percent of the population over 12 has been double vaccinated and 58 percent has been boosted.