India Provides Tonga With $200,000 For Reconstruction After Volcanic Eruption, Tsunami

NEW DELHI (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 25th January, 2022) Indian government has provided Tonga with $200,000 financial support for reconstruction after a powerful volcanic eruption and tsunami caused widespread damage and devastation in the Pacific island nation, Indian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.

On January 15, the underwater Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano eruption, regarded as the most powerful in the world for at least 30 years, created a tsunami that inundated Tonga, destroying constructions and covering clean drinking water supplies with thick layers of volcanic ash and salt water. Countries around the Pacific rim also felt the effects of the tsunami.

"As a close friend and partner under the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) and as a gesture of solidarity with the friendly people of Tonga, Government of India extends an immediate relief assistance of US $200,000 to support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the Kingdom of Tonga," the Ministry said in a written statement.

China and Japan have also provided Tonga with financial assistance of $100,000 and $1 million, respectively. A state of emergency is declared for the whole country. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies are now providing people who have lost their homes with clean water, tarpaulins, shelter tool kits, kitchen sets and other essential relief.

"India has firmly stood by Tonga during times of crisis and devastation caused by natural disasters, as during Cyclone Gita in 2018. Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is an important pillar of India's Indo-Pacific Oceans' Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019," the Ministry added.

Tonga is located in a seismically active zone known as the Ring of Fire and regularly suffers from earthquakes, tsunamis and powerful volcanic eruptions.