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Sun Jan 16, 2022, 09:04 PM

Australia, New Zealand step up efforts to aid tsunami-hit Tonga

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON (Reuters) -Australia and New Zealand dispatched surveillance flights on Monday to assess the damage in Tonga, isolated from the rest of the world due to the eruption of an underwater volcano that triggered a tsunami and blanketed the Pacific island with ash.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison pledged to provide support for Tonga as early as possible but said the volcano ash had hampered relief efforts.

"There's been a lot of challenges there with the ash cloud and the disruption to communications and so we are working together to get as much support to Tonga as we possibly can," Morrison told radio station 2GB on Monday.

Australia's Minister for the Pacific Zed Seselja said initial reports suggested no mass casualties and that the airport "appears to be in relatively good condition" but there were "significant damage" to roads and bridges.

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/australia-new-zealand-step-up-efforts-to-aid-tsunami-hit-tonga/ar-AASQb8M

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