Distress signal detected from tsunami-hit Tonga

A distress signal has been detected near an isolated, low-lying group of islands in the island country of Tonga, days after the region was hit by a massive undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami, the United Nations said.

The active distress signal was picked up near two islands of Fonoi and Mango in Tonga’s Ha’apai region.

The distress signal has sparked “particular concern” for the inhabitants of the two islands, the New York Post quoted UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs as saying on Monday.

There has been no contact from the Ha’apai group of islands since the tsunami.

Tonga was hit by tsunami after a violent eruption of an undersea volcano occurred in Hunga Ha’apai island on January 15.

According to the Tonga government, Mango has 36 people living on its island and Fonoi 69.

There have been no official confirmations of casualties from Tongan authorities, but one British family has confirmed that the dead body of one of their relatives living in Tonga, who went missing in the tsunami, had been found, The Guardian reported.

Meanwhile, Australia and New Zealand have sent surveillance flights to assess the damage.


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