Prime Minister James Marape of Papua New Guinea has pledged assistance to Tonga following Saturday’s massive underwater volcanic eruption which caused tsunami affecting neighbouring island nations as well.

“I am greatly concerned about the situation in Tonga where an undersea volcano erupted on Saturday, sending large tsunami waves crashing on the shore and people rushing to higher ground,” Marape said in a statement.

“I join the people of Papua New Guinea in sending our thoughts and prayers to the people of Tonga at this time.

“Tonga and PNG have close government and people-to-people relations as Pacific wansolwara.”

He said the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was monitoring the situation and the Government would “assist where we can”.

Lady Emeline Tufi Dadae, the wife of Governor-General Sir Bob, is from the island kingdom.

Meanwhile, the Bank South Pacific Financial Group Limited (BSP) said all its employees in Nuku’alofa, Tonga, were safe.
Group chief executive officer Robin Fleming told The National that the building housing the bank in Nukualofa was also safe.

“All of our staff on the main island of Tongatapu where our largest branch of Nuku’alofa in Tonga is located are safe,” Fleming said.

“Due to telecommunication difficulties, we are yet to contact our staff on Ha’apai and Vava’u.