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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Tonga: First aid flights arrive as disaster-hit islands aim to keep Covid-19 out

Flights from Australia and New Zealand carrying humanitarian aid and disaster relief landed at Fua’amotu International Airport in Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, after the runway was cleared of volcanic ash and debris following Saturday’s violent eruption of the underwater Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano.

It also comes as a senior Tongan politician warned of potential food shortages in the country.

The aid will be delivered without any contact, to prevent the risk of Covid-19 spreading in the nation — which has only seen a single case since the start of the pandemic. Tonga has fully vaccinated more than 80% of its eligible population against the disease, according to the World Health Organization.

A New Zealand Air Force C-130 Hercules aircraft carrying sanitation, water purification, shelter and hygiene kits along with generators and communications equipment, has arrived in Tonga,…

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