Tonga Police rule out foul play in fatal Vava’u house fire

Police said there was no foul play in the fire on 8 November 2022.

According to Tonga Police Commissioner, Shane McLennan Police gathered 34 witness statements from a range of people including those who worked with Tu’imala as well as her husband.

“There were also eyewitnesses who observed the fire whilst it was happening, and though they had observed it from various distances and angles, the one thing that was apparent was that the husband and a witness were calling out to Tu’imala to jump.”

Tonga establishes diplomatic relations with the Kyrgyz Republic

A Joint Communique signed by Viliami Va'inga Tone, Permanent Representative of Tonga to the United Nations & Ambassador to the USA and Aida Kasymalieva, Permanent Representative of the Kyrgyz Republic to the United Nations has enabled this to take place.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the signing took place in New York City on Wednesday


Photo MOFA


Tonga fails to score against Fiji at the OFC U17 Championships

The side lost 3-0 to the hosts at the HFC Bank Stadium in Suva.

17-year-old Jacob Seninawanawa scored Fiji’s opening goal that saw Fiji led 1-0 at the break.

They were also reduced to 10 players after Sailimone Ravonokula was red-carded following a scuffle as tensions flared towards the end of the first half.

But this didn’t stop the Baby Bula Boys from scoring two more goals in the second half through Ibraheem Afazal and William Khan.

However, Tonga will still feature in the quarterfinals against Tahiti at 7pm (Fiji Time) on Saturday.

RNZAF Flight lieutenant recalls first look at Tonga after eruption

The Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft flew out within 48 hours of the eruption and was able to capture the first post-disaster photos. 

PMN News reports Flight Lieutenant Dave Evans says the crew didn't know what to expect. 

“Once we got up there, the thing that really struck me was the colour. Everything was a really strange colour as everything was covered in ash.

Tonga volcano unlikely to erupt again for decades - volcanologist

Sunday will mark one year since the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption. 

Marco Brenna, a volcanologist at Otago University, ​says the volcano is still technically active, but it’s very minor. 

“The volcano is still brewing away, although deep beneath the waves, but a lot of that energy that had been stored has been lost, so it’s unlikely that the volcano will produce such a large eruption again in the next few years, decades even.”

The most recent eruption followed previous patterns to begin with, says Brenna. 

Tonga to train more nurses

He said the government will ensure there is enough nursing staff in Tonga.

Piukala said the government would also support people travelling overseas because they will become good ambassadors for Tonga and learn more, and then bring that knowledge back to the country.

A total of 32 nurses who graduated in December have now joined the Health Ministry workforce.


Tonga eruption: 'The tsunami came, taking down the electric poles, trees' - survivor

On 15 January 2022, the usually quiet seaside village of Kanokupolu was thrown into chaos.

The roar of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupting was followed by screams and shouts of people fleeing to safety. Villagers took to their vehicles to escape, and as they drove away, tsunami waves could be seen approaching the beach.

But not everyone decided to leave; Tevita 'Amaka preferred to risk death, rather than run away.

Tonga Government focuses on training local workforce

In his first media conference for the year held on Wednesday, Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku said the Government will not stop workers from leaving to find better job opportunities but will work on training more locals so that services can continue effectively both with the public service and private sector.

“Government will continue to train our people so that they can have the skills to serve the country and move overseas if need be without adversely affecting local services.”

Tonga volcano eruption raises ‘imminent’ risk of temporary 1.5C breach

On 15 January 2022, an underwater volcano in Tonga – the Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha’apai – erupted violently, releasing billowing plumes of soot, water vapour and sulphur dioxide high into the atmosphere.

Major volcanic eruptions typically cool the planet temporarily, because, until they dissipate, sulphur dioxide particles reflect sunlight away from the planet. However, the study – published in Nature Climate Change – finds that the Tonga eruption in the south Pacific expelled an unprecedented amount of water into the atmosphere.

Mango and 'Atata Islanders resettle nearly a year on from disaster

The exodus occurred over the past two weeks and comes nearly a year after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted, on 15 January 2022. Both 'Atata and Mango were devastated by tsunami waves, caused by the eruption.

"I and my relatives are going to 'Eua", Mango town officer Sione Vailea said.

"We'll see what happens when we get there. There's no place for us on Mango anymore and the government has declared for my people to relocate."