Japan to give $41 million aid to Asian and Pacific nations over vaccine supply

The Foreign Ministry said Tuesday the grant aid will be used to secure cold-storage facilities, transport vehicles and other equipment necessary for the stable delivery of vaccines in those countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines and Thailand, according to the ministry.

Japan aims to help ensure the delivery of vaccines "to each and every person in the all corners of developing countries" with the hope of containing the coronavirus pandemic as quickly as possible, it said, adding the aid will be delivered through the United Nations Children's Fund.

Tonga’s NEMO Initial Damage Assessment Workshop with Stakeholders

The goal of the workshop is to utilize the existing Cluster system in place, which leads by government Ministries and where civil society organizations are part of one or more of the 10 Clusters currently exist in Tonga to co-design an IDA process and implementation in order to improve the its efficiency and effectiveness.

Tonga admits it's not well-equipped to deal with tsunami, relies on 'natural instincts'

A tsunami is the highest risk because of their closeness to the Tonga trench, says the Director of Tonga Meteorological Service, ‘Ofa Fa’anunu.

“That’s where our local tsunami generates comes from and it takes only between 15-20 minutes for waves to travel from the Tonga trench to our island,” he says.

A project to install 90 tsunami sirens has come to a halt since the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

Fa’anunu says they were hoping to finish the project last December however they are looking at it this year because swift action is very much needed.

Regional governments and public applaud the ‘I Am Digital’ campaign

Agreeing in unison on the initiative's timeliness, the respective governments and its people all see the urgent need to educate youths and individuals on online safety etiquettes.   

‘I Am Digital’ is a new social media online safety education campaign for Save the Children and Facebook, uniquely tailored for audiences in the Pacific Islands. The high-profile campaign is designed to help educate and empower Pacific Island teenagers and young people to have safer and more positive online experiences.

Tonga Parliamentary Reporters’ Handbook launched

The Parliamentary Reporters' Handbook was launched by the Speaker Lord Fakafanua yesterday (Thursday).

According to the Media Association of Tonga, the bi-lingual handbook is the first of its kind for Tonga.

 The handbook was authored by former journalist, now the Deputy Clerk of the Legislative Assembly, Dr Sione Vikilani.

A Code of Ethics compiled by veteran journalist Kalafi Moala, is included in the handbook.

According to the Media Association, UNDP provided valuable support and feedback during the drafting and editing process of the handbook.

56 earthquakes in Tonga in February

According to the latest Geological Service Bulletin, these are felt earthquakes and earthquakes that were not felt but have magnitudes which are greater than or equal to four.

There were 30 shallow-focus earthquakes with an average magnitude of 4.8.

Three were intermediate focus earthquakes with 4.6 average magnitude and 16 were deep-focus earthquakes with 4.5 average magnitude.

Tonga Geological Service said 7 were felt earthquakes but their magnitudes and depths were unknown.

Tonga health official reflects on remaining Covid-19 free

The chief executive of the Ministry of Health Dr Siale 'Akau'ola said like many other Pacific countries, Tonga was anxious when news of a new coronavirus started surfacing.

12 months later and Tonga is one of the dwindling number of countries that continues to remain free of Covid-19.

Even throughout the repatriation of Tongan citizens which started in July 2020.

Dr Akau’ola said he is thankful for the support from the Government, Cabinet, the national emergency management committee.

Tonga releases repatriation schedule

Flights are set every month from the 31 March until 21 December.

A repatriation flight scheduled for today from Auckland was delayed a week and will now arrive on the 10 March before the new schedule kicks off.

The repatriation flights will come from New Zealand, Australia and Fiji.


Tonga postpones repatriation flight from New Zealand

The decision was made following a meeting between the National Emergency Management Committee and the committee that oversees Covid-19-related matters.

Repatriation flights expected from Australia and Fiji will arrive as scheduled.

Tonga’s Cabinet confirmed that all repatriates must be quarantined for 21 days.


Photo file      

Charles Piutau poised to finally complete Tongan switch

Players with dual eligibility can switch their international allegiance by participating in Olympic qualifying events provided they had a passport for the second country and have completed a stand down period of three years.

Piutau played the last of his 17 tests for the All Blacks in 2015 and first stated four years ago that he would love to represent his Tongan heritage.

Tonga sevens coach, Tevita Tu'ifua, said after a couple of false starts the signs are promising that a number of former All Blacks and Wallabies stars could pull on the red jersey in June.