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Tonga’s undersea cable could take weeks to repair

It could be weeks before Tonga's crucial undersea cable - which connects it to the world - is back online. The cable carries nearly all digital information including the internet and phone communications in and out of Tonga. It was damaged after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcanic eruption nearby on Saturday. Dean Veverka is the director of the International Cable Protection Committee...

Distress signal prompts UN concern after Tonga volcanic eruption

A distress signal has been detected in an isolated, low-lying group of islands in the Tonga archipelago following Saturday's massive volcanic eruption and tsunami, the United Nations said, prompting particular concern for its inhabitants. Initial reports suggested no mass casualties on the main island of Tongatapu, but two people were reported missing and the capital Nuku'alofa was badly damaged, as...

Mayur gets carbon concessions

Mayur Resources Ltd (MRL), via its 100 per cent owned subsidiary, Mayur Renewables PNG Ltd (MR), has been granted its first forest carbon concessions in PNG, an official says. MR business director Sinton Spence said this demonstrated material progress on its commitment to achieve “net zero” carbon emissions for its nation building import displacement projects, and delivering on the objectives...

PNG NFA launches K105m coastal fisheries hub

The launching of the K105 million (US$29.9 million) Voco Point Coastal Fisheries Hub marks the beginning of a major impact project for artisanal fishermen and women in the maritime districts of Morobe and neighbouring coastal provinces. The hub will consist of a waterfront facility for landing and unloading and sale of fresh fish, a facility for processing and distribution of...

The most explosive eruption in 30 years, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai rewrites tsunami rules

By Ben Strang The eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano in Tonga sent literal shock waves around the world. It’s understood to have been the most explosive eruption in 30 years and created a larger tsunami than experts thought possible. Much is still unknown about the eruption, and scientists believe it’s far from over. But already, it has scientists reviewing the thinking around the...

Olympic flagbearer Taufatofua raising funds for Tonga tsunami relief

Three-time Olympic flagbearer Pita Taufatofua has launched a fundraiser for tsunami relief in Tonga, where his father is among scores of people who have not been heard from. An underwater volcano erupted near Tonga sparking a tsunami which hit the island nation. No deaths have so far been reported, but communication with Tonga is extremely limited and there are mounting fears...

Ground-breaking ceremony for new Solomon Islands football facility held

A ground-breaking ceremony has been held at Honiara's King George VI school to mark the beginning of the construction of the Solomon Islands Football Federation (SIFF) Football Academy. The development will consist of an office building, two FIFA-compliant football pitches, an outdoor futsal court, a beach soccer pitch and a two-story accommodation block Construction is expected to be completed by June...

UN and Forum SG pledges resources to the government and people of Tonga

The UN Secretary-General António Guterres has expressed his deep concern after reports of a tsunami and ash affecting Tonga following the eruption of an undersea volcano near the Pacific nation. Guterres aired his concern about the tsunami warnings that have been issued in other countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Japan and the United States. “The United Nations offices in the...

Tonga eruption likely the world’s largest in 30 years – scientist

Early data from Tonga's violent volcanic eruption suggests it is the biggest blast since Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines 30 years ago, volcanologist Shane Cronin says. The eruption of the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano, about 65km north of Nuku'alofa, on Saturday shot thick ash and steam 20km skywards. University of Auckland volcanologist Professor Shane Cronin said scenes on the ground...

EU could suspend Vanuatu visa-free travel over ‘golden passports’ scheme

The European Commission has proposed suspending a visa-free travel arrangement with Vanuatu due to concerns about the Pacific nation’s controversial “golden passports” scheme. The proposed suspension, which still needs to be voted on by EU states, would prevent all holders of passports issued as of 25 May 2015 – when Vanuatu started issuing a substantial number of passports in exchange...

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Tonga says volcanic eruption and tsunami an ‘unprecedented disaster’

Tonga is facing an “unprecedented disaster” from a massive volcanic eruption that covered the nation in ash and 15-metre tsunami waves that destroyed almost...

Cable repair ship to set sail from PNG to restore communications to Tonga

Preparations are being made to send a specialist cable repair ship from Papua New Guinea to Tonga to fix breaks in the Tonga Cable...

New Zealand prepares to send support to Tonga

New Zealand is ready to assist Tonga in its recovery from Saturday night’s undersea eruption and tsunami, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Defence...