Tonga volcanic eruption: Government response teams deployed to Lau

Supplies being loaded on the MV Iloilovatu that left for Lau last night - Thursday, December 20, 2022. Picture: FIJI GOVT

Two joint Government teams departed for a six-day deployment to the Lau group last night.

The teams were deployed on the MV Iloilovatu and MV Veivueti.

This deployment is part of the Fijian Government’s immediate response to the impacts of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcanic eruption in Tonga last week.

Minister for Rural and Maritime Development and Disaster Management Inia Seruiratu said the two teams would be visiting the islands of Moala, Vanuabalavu, Lakeba, Vatoa, Moce and Ono-i-Lau.

He said they had been working closely with the Ministry of iTaukei Affairs that had been gathering data from the ground in Lau.

“As per the information they have received, these six islands have been identified as the only ones in the Lau Group that had sustained damage as a result of the tidal surges that inundated the villages last Saturday,” Mr Seruiratu said.

The team includes technical and scientific expertise from the Ministry of Lands and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Environment, Water Authority of Fiji and Ministry of Fisheries; they would conduct assessments and monitoring of air and water quality, marine resources, and food security in the affected islands.

“Additionally, we will have teams from the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Agriculture and other key agencies who will be part of these deployments.”

The two deployments is funded by the Australian government.

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