May 29, 2022

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“The Whole Country Is Covered with Ash”: Tongan Journalist Describes Devastation from Volcano

1 min read

We go to Nuku’alofa, capital of Tonga, to speak with Tongan journalist Marian Kupu on the humanitarian relief efforts underway after an undersea volcano erupted on January 14, blanketing the South Pacific island nation with ash and triggering a tsunami. Kupu was able to flee the worst effects of the initial eruption by driving to higher ground but now reports lingering aftereffects such as water tanks polluted by ash. Although the islands have prepared for hurricanes, climate change has exacerbated a newly volatile environment. "We have never been prepared for volcanic eruptions," says Kupu. "This is something really new for us."

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