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Australia delivers water, telecommunications aid to Tonga

This combination of this satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of Nomuka in the Tonga island group on Aug. 17, 2020, left, and Jan. 20, 2022, right, showing the damage after the Jan. 15 eruption. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies via AP)
Posted at 8:45 AM, Jan 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-22 10:45:16-05

CANBERRA, Australia — Three flights from Australia carrying food, water, medical supplies and telecommunications equipment have landed in Tonga, as the Pacific nation grapples with the aftermath of an underwater volcanic eruption.

This combination of this satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of Nomuka in the Tonga island group on Aug. 17, 2020, left, and Jan. 20, 2022, right, showing the damage after the Jan. 15 eruption. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies via AP)

Australian Minister for International Development and the Pacific Zed Seselja says planes from other nations, including New Zealand and Japan, have brought sorely needed aid to the Tongan people.

This combination of this satellite images provided by Maxar Technologies shows an overview of Mango island in the Tonga island group on Aug. 17, 2020, left, and Jan. 20, 2022, right, showing the damage after the Jan. 15 eruption. (Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies via AP)

The first planes arrived after the main airport runway was cleared of ash spewed when the volcano erupted a week ago.

A Pacific-wide tsunami it set off smashed boats in New Zealand and caused an oil spill in Peru.

A lack of clean water is a priority because supplies have been disrupted by layers of volcanic ash and salt water.