Volcanic Eruption Impacts Tonga

Reconstruction and Recuperating of Tonga and its People

Zaylie Ramos, Reporter

On Jan 15, 2022, the volcano Nuku’alofa erupted causing a massive tsunami on the island of Tonga. According to National Geographic,“Scientists are now racing to work out the cause behind this intense outburst and the surprisingly widespread tsunamis that followed. Understanding the spark that ignited Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai recent explosive event could help reduce future risks.” Monitoring and finding the reason for the volcanic eruption could possibly save multiple lives now and in the future. 

Scientist Krippner said, “Almost all of the volcano is now beneath the ocean surface, hidden from satellite view, and there’s no equipment on the ground to help track subterranean shifts of molten rock. If we can’t detect what’s happening in the magma system, we have no idea what might happen next.” The biggest concern is the people of Tonga and what’s being done for them. According to the World’s Bank, “they’ll be providing an initial US$8 million emergency funding to support the Kingdom of Tonga’s response and recovery. This funding will support the country’s response to its most urgent needs, including humanitarian relief, cleanup, rehabilitation and reconstruction of infrastructure and support to Tongan families most affected.” This support from the World’s Bank is making the country stronger by getting them the supplies and help they need. 

This tragedy did not only affect the families in Tonga, but also the ones outside of the island. Senior Konani Bueno-Lama gives insight on how her family is doing on and off of the island of Tonga, “When the eruption was going on, we were nervous for them, but also worried at the same time. Now that it’s calm, we’re slowly recovering, but still worried because we only heard from one family member. We’re trying to stay positive and pray everything is fine. So far the one family member we heard from is staying with a friend because half of the house is damaged and they’re getting the supplies that they need, not enough before the eruption, but enough to last them for a while.”

Local businesses, such as Matson shipping company “aims to provide aid in Tonga relief efforts. Matson announced that they will be contributing approximately $375,000 in goods and services to aid relief efforts for Tonga in wake of a devastating volcanic eruption and tsunami.” With the support of local organizations, the island of Tonga is able to slowly rebuild and rehabilitate themselves, giving strength back to the island. 

“The Volcanic Explosion in Tonga Destroyed an Island—and Created Many Mysteries.” Science, 20 Jan. 2022, www.nationalgeographic.com/science/article/volcanic-explosion-in-tonga-created-many-mysteries

“World Bank Provides US$8 Million to Support Tonga’s Volcano and Tsunami Response.” World Bank, www.worldbank.org/en/news/press-release/2022/01/20/world-bank-provides-us-8-million-to-support-tonga-s-volcano-and-tsunami-response.

Hixon, David. “Matson Aims to Provide Aid in Tonga Relief Efforts.” KITV Island News, www.kitv.com/news/business/matson-aims-to-provide-aid-in-tonga-relief-efforts/article_42b2d5a6-7d5a-11ec-a97c-ef97eb0682fb.html . Accessed 25 Feb. 2022.