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Mon Jan 17, 2022, 09:00 PM

Distress signal detected in low-lying Tongan island

Adistress signal has been detected in a low-lying Tongan island following the volcanic eruption and tsunami, the United Nations said Tuesday as the first death was reported.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs expressed concern for two islands, Mango and Fonoi, after surveillance flights confirmed "substantial property damage" from Saturday's eruption but there had been no contact with residents.

"An active distress beacon had been detected from Mango," the OCHA said. The island is home to more than 30 people, according to Tongan census figures.

The agency said extensive damage had been reported on the western beaches of Tonga's main island, Tongatapu, with several resorts and houses either destroyed or seriously damaged and two people were missing.


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