Wellington: The underwater volcano Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai (approximately 65 km from Tonga's capital, Nuku'alofa) erupted on January 15, 2022 in the afternoon local time and caused a tsunami wave and paralyzed communication lines.
As a result of the eruption, Tonga was covered in volcanic ash and caused dark conditions.
An island called Atata Island in Tonga has reportedly sunk.
Tonga Meteorological Services declared a state of emergency for all islands in Tonga and asked the public to evacuate to higher ground.
News in Tonga is only available via radio communications Tonga Meteorological Services, National Emergency Management Office (NEMO), and His Majesty's Armed Force (HMAF).
"Until this news was published, the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington had not received any reports of Indonesian citizens (WNI) being victims," the Indonesian Embassy said in a press release on Sunday.
"The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington through the Protocol and Consular Functions continues to monitor the condition of four Indonesian citizens in Tonga who cannot be contacted due to a broken underwater communication cable," it added.
Previously, on the evening of January 15, 2022, local time, Indonesian citizen on behalf of Thomas Egbert (contact person at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington in Tonga) reported an increase in sea level and a tsunami warning.
"The Indonesian Embassy continues to try to contact the ship agency Ngatai Marine Enterprises Ltd in Tonga, which employs three Indonesian crew members to ensure their safety, but has yet to be contacted," it stated.
The eruption was also felt as far as Samoa and Fiji.
Based on information from an Indonesian citizen in Samoa, conditions are still under control and until yesterday there was no tsunami warning but the local government asked the public to be vigilant.
Through a short message channel, the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington has conveyed an appeal to the Indonesian people in New Zealand, Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands and Niue to remain vigilant and monitor developments in disasters issued by the local disaster and security authorities.
If any member of the public has direct information regarding the whereabouts of Indonesian citizens in Tonga, we request their assistance by contacting the HOTLINE of the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington at +6421713167.
Other information can also be submitted via email to the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington, namely email@example.com
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