Aerial images have revealed the extent of the devastation caused by last month’s tsunami and a shocking discovery among the rubble.
Aerial reconnaissance images revealed a shocking disaster on one of the Tongan islands caused by last month’s volcanic eruption and tsunami.
Most of the structures on Tonga Atata Island seem to have completely disappeared – however, a blue and white church has remained miraculously intact.
The IDF personnel conducting the reconnaissance were surprised to see so many people – including children – living on the island in the midst of the disaster.
To prevent Covid-19 from spreading to Tonga, ADF relief operations are conducted without face-to-face contact with the Tongan community.
“We have discovered more people on the islands than expected,” said Major Richard Bremner.
“This is of interest to both the Tongan government and us, especially when it comes to security measures for Covid in relief operations.
“We may need to determine how we can work with the Tongan government to support the movement of these people if we are asked to work on these islands.”
The country went into a two-day lockdown on Wednesday night, after recording two new community outbreaks of the virus.
Prior to the tsunami, Atata Island had a population of just over 100 and its main feature was the Royal Sunset Island Resort.
According to the organizer of a fundraiser To help the island recover, people are not yet allowed to return there for security reasons.
“The government is still not sure if the village will be rebuilt and there are discussions that all the villagers of Atata could be redistributed to the mainland. “This was very traumatic, as it is their home, where their ancestors are buried,” said fundraiser Bruno Dubois.
“Obviously for the resort, not much has been left standing, except for some parts of the main buildings, but there is no way the resort can be rebuilt, as so much land has been swept away.”
Air assistance to Tonga includes three Army CH-47F Chinook helicopters operating from the HMAS flight deck Adelaide.
The helicopters were used to carry out reconnaissance missions at the request of the Tongan government.
So far, Australia has delivered more than 88 tonnes of supplies to Tonga, which was in turmoil following the sudden explosion of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai on Saturday, January 15th.
The focus of the ADF mission has now shifted to assisting in the collection of information by air and sea.
Australia also sent a P-8A Poseidon naval patrol aircraft to assist in gathering intelligence and air support in the form of a C-17A Globemaster III and C-130J Hercules transport aircraft.
ADF Chinooks were also used to assess the extent of airborne volcanic ash, which can cause hazardous conditions for aircraft by degrading engines and other equipment.
“It’s nice to see the air being relatively clean,” said Major Bremner.
Small seagoing vessels, including Zodiacs and light landing craft, have also been developed by HMAS Adelaide to conduct reconnaissance by sea.
“A squadron of small boats from the 2nd Battalion, the Royal Australian Regiment, will be used as the main identifier to prove safe passage and identify possible landing sites for Army engineers,” said the squadron commander, a lieutenant. Jordan Chi.
The Squadron has collaborated with the Navy’s Geospatial Support Development Team to conduct hydrographic surveys of the area, using single-beam and multi-beam echoes, as well as side-scan sounders.
It will allow the team to visualize a 3D view of the seabed to assess beach slopes and potential obstacles.
Originally published as Shocking aerial images show the extent of the tsunami disaster
Tonga Tsunami: Images show extent of devastation from volcano eruption Source link Tonga Tsunami: Images show extent of devastation from volcano eruption