After the gigantic eruption of a submarine volcano in Tonga, there is still uncertainty about the extent of the destruction in the Pacific island nation.

There was also no information on the number of dead and injured in the country with 105,000 inhabitants by Monday.

Several people are missing, including a British woman who was swept away by the tsunami triggered by the eruption.

Till Fähnders

Political correspondent for Southeast Asia.

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Telephone and internet connections to Tonga were interrupted due to a damaged undersea cable.

Relatives abroad waited spellbound for news from their family members.

New Zealand and Australia sent military planes to get an idea of ​​the situation in the archipelago.

The two neighboring countries also released emergency aid of one million and a half million dollars.

Aid organizations warned of health damage to the population from ash in the air and contaminated drinking water.

"Quite Worrying"

The only communication link to the island nation was via satellite telephone. Australia's Development and Pacific Minister Zed Seselja spoke of "rather worrying" reports that he received along the way. There is particular concern about the smaller islands in the archipelago, which are currently completely cut off from the outside world. "From the fragmentary information that we have, the extent of the devastation appears to be quite extensive, particularly on the offshore islands," said Katie Greenwood of the International Red Cross agency AFP. Even the capital Nuku'alofa is only about 40 miles from the volcano. According to eyewitnesses, it is completely covered in ash and looks “like a lunar landscape”.

New Zealand's diplomatic representative in Tonga, High Commissioner Peter Lund, reported on Facebook that fortunately many buildings survived the volcanic and tsunami disaster.

In the capital, many people have returned to their homes.

Most of the electricity has been restored.

You can also make cell phone calls, but not abroad.

According to the diplomat, the tsunami hit the tourist area on the west coast of the main island of Tongatapu in particular.

The owners of the Ha'atafu Beach Resort located there wrote on Facebook that their hotel complex had been completely razed to the ground.

"The entire western coastline and the village of Kanukupolu have been completely destroyed," the message said.

The employees there could just about get to safety with their children.

Hunga Tonga Hunga Ha'apai's eight-minute eruption on Saturday was the strongest recorded volcanic eruption in three decades.

The massive cloud of ash, rock and gas, which was thrown more than 20 kilometers into the air, can be followed in its full force on satellite images.

The volcanic noise was heard as a loud rumble of thunder in Fiji and as far away as New Zealand, 2300 kilometers away.

Tsunami waves of around 1.2 meters in height were measured on Tonga.

Tsunamis were also recorded in New Zealand, Japan, Alaska and South America.

In Peru, two people were killed by the strong waves.

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