BEIJING, Jan. 23, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- CGTN's Liu Xin reached out to Tonga's Legislative Assembly Speaker Lord
Fatafehi Fakafanua after
volcanic eruptions and tsunami pounded the Pacific Island
nation, for an update on the situation. CGTN was among the first
Asian media outlets to speak to him. In her live interview,
Liu Xin focused on the humanitarian aspect of the
crisis and what was needed urgently to mitigate it.
"The shockwaves went right
through the body"
Fakafanua was traveling to New
Zealand when the undersea Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano
was smoldering. He was in New
Zealand when it erupted and so, was able to communicate with
the rest of the world.
His wife Krystal, who was in Tonga, told him how
shockwaves vibrated the entire building where they live.
It was a different feeling from an earthquake. The
shockwaves went right through the body.
While saddened by the loss of life -- three deaths had
been confirmed by Jan 23 --
Fakafanua told Liu Xin the
authorities were relieved that the toll wasn't higher. He also
shared some good news. Hopefully, schools would reopen soon,
probably on January 31.
A long road to recovery
However, communication in Tonga
was still far from being back to normal. While voice calls and
texts were possible, emails were intermittent.
The politician felt the damage to infrastructure and the effects
of the volcanic ash and the tsunami would probably be felt for
years to come.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization echoed
him, saying in a statement on January
21 that the ashfall could have detrimental effects on
crops and livestock. Around 86 percent of Tongans are engaged in
some form of agriculture – either farming or raising livestock or
COVID major concern in relief efforts
Fakafanua said the international community had responded swiftly
in providing aid. However, "We need water, we need food."
Anti-COVID-19 efforts will also add to the difficulties in
receiving external assistance. Tonga, which has reported just one case of
COVID-19 so far, is receiving foreign relief assistance in a
contact-less form to ensure there are no new infections. All
international humanitarian supplies are being dropped off
without the crew coming in contact with the islanders. China rushed cash assistance and emergency
supplies on January 20.
The Point with Liu
Xin, CGTN's flagship Talk show
program, is a 30-minute commentary on global news through
Liu Xin's unique perspective.
Video - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vJDdKjFHyv0