Tonga Receives Aid Planes Bringing Along Essential Supplies With It


Image Credit – BBC


The first foreign aid plane landed on Tonga. Bearing essential supplies, this place was completely devastated by a volcanic eruption and subsequent tsunami last Saturday.

New Zealand sends a military plane to land the Tonga airport after the worker has cleared the ashes from the runway.

Australia has confirmed that their plane has reached, containing relief supplies. The delay was caused by the huge amount of ashes.

Tonga has been able to re-establish the connection with the rest of the world after five days of complete cut-off.

On Thursday, New Zealand’s defense force confirmed that their C-130 Hercules plane touched the ground at 4 pm local time. The plane had a large supply of drinkable water containers, temporary shelter kits, electricity generators, hygiene kits, family kits, and communication equipment.

Within a few hours, Australian defense minister Peter Dutton tweeted the first plane took off and also landed, carrying ‘humanitarian assistance and disaster relief supplies.’

Australia also shared that, the first of the two Boeing C-17 Globemaster relief planes had a ‘Sweeping’ device with them.

Rescue teams and hundreds of volunteers worked vigorously to clear the thick layer of ashes from the ground of the airport runway of the Capital Nuku’alofa; this was the main obstacle for the planes to land on the country.

Volunteers used wheelbarrows and shovels to clear the runway. The New Zeeland’s commander of joint forces Rear Admiral Jim Gilmore called it a ‘Mammoth effort’.

‘After the eruption, all of Tonga just turned grey,’ Marian Kupu, a Tongan journalist told the worldwide media from the capital Nuku’alofa. She said, ‘We’re talking about dogs and cars and building, they were all covered in ashes.’

Ms. Kupu said the thickness of the ash fall made it more ‘Difficult’ to clear the runway. And also conveyed her worries for who was engaged to the deed, who were mainly ‘Young boys’.

Both Australian and New Zeeland authorities have an emphasis on the fact that the aid drops are going to be contactless. To make sure the COVID 19 guideline are properly followed.

The New Zeeland’s Defense minister Peeni Henare said, ‘The aircraft is expected to be on the ground for up to 90 minutes before returning to New Zealand’.

Rear Adm Gilmour said, ‘being adhered to rigorously’ about no-contact COVID protocols. The airplane crew was instructed to wear a PPE kit throughout the procedure. ‘We are very respectful that the last thing that Tonga would need now is a COVID outbreak on top of this disaster.

Australia has also made sure that there will be no one who will leave the plane at any cost.

A New Zeeland naval ship is also arriving in Tonga on Thursday, and a tail of ships will follow with more supplies. Mr. Henare told earlier that the supply ships will have over 250,000 liters of water with them.

The contact with Tonga remains limited. They have only been able to establish a 2G connection by a telecommunication provider Digicel. But the lines are overwhelmed by the huge demand. Their undersea cable connected Tonga to the world.


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