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Tonga


Yenn
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It has been  few days since the news of the volcanic eruption in Tonga and the Tsunami. Meanwhile New Zealand have their military on standby, waiting to find out what Tonga needs in the way of assistance. There has been no mention of that other pacific power doing anything, that is USA I am referring to.

What an opportunity for China to come to the fore with aid, such as water, de-salination plants and communications facilities. I wonder of they will, or is Tonga too small to warrant attention. I also wonder what would be the reaction of Sleepy Joe and Scumbag if China did step up. If they don't, what a missed opportunity.

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2 hours ago, Yenn said:

…What an opportunity for China to come to the fore with aid, such as water, de-salination plants and communications facilities. I wonder of they will, or is Tonga too small to warrant attention…

China has been quite active in our neighbourhood; most recently they have been upgrading their port facilities in Kiribati.

Australia has two large aircraft carriers ideal for disaster relief; one is being loaded with relief supplies.

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It’s been four days since we heard of this volcanic disaster; satellite images instantly showed its magnitude yet not one bit of aid has yet arrived. To their credit, our authorities are sending a large warship full of equipment and supplies, but it won’t arrive until at least ten days after the water was contaminated, gardens, roads and airports covered by ash. 
 

If Oz is ever attacked, how long until a response is organised? 

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I reckon it was so obviously serious that we should have had aid on the way within 24 hours. I still have not heard of any response by the two superpowers who have ambitions to dominate the Pacific. China and USA.

So far NZ seems to be the most active, closely followed by us, but a bit slow in my opinion. We should not be sitting back waiting to be told what is needed.

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I think the delay is a fair bit of caution being exercised as regards the dangers involved in moving into a zone of pretty violent volcanic activity. The air in the region still contains a lot of volcanic ash, and no-one wants to be the first to experience a flame-out or scarred windscreens that they can't see out of.

The BA 9 flight that accidentally flew through the Mt Galunggung eruption in 1982 not only had all 4 engines flame out, the windscreens were so badly abraded the pilot and FO had very little forward vision, and they stated after landing at Jakarta, it was the hairiest landing they'd ever carried out. In fact, they found they couldn't taxi, because the glare from the airport lighting on the abraded windscreen made forward vision impossible.

The Mt Pinatubo eruption in 1991 damaged at least 16 commercial aircraft in flight, and caused around $100M worth of damage to those 16 aircraft - engine, windscreens and paint damage. Three engines had to be totally replaced.

The Tonga volcanic ash went through into the stratosphere, and has travelled around the globe. This eruption is being classed as being almost as big as the Mt Pinatubo eruption.

Vulcanologists and seismologists are still undecided as to whether the volcano is set to erupt some more, so they are being a little cautious until they gather more seismic and satellite information.

 

https://www.space.com/tonga-volcano-eruption-satellite-photos

 

Edited by onetrack
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Yes.. an I think around 10 years ago, Mt. Unpronounceable in Iceland erupted and closed down all of European upper level airspace and grounded the entire airline fleet. GA were allowed up to 5,000' as I recall.. I retrieved a couple of friends from the continent... (and, yes, at my expense).

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10 hours ago, red750 said:

They (we) have already sent a C-130 with emergency aid, no that that is an awful lot.

The C-130J has a load capacity of around 36 tonnes (MTOW - EMPTY WT). Even if you took off 6 tonnes for fuel etc, that leaves 30 tonnes. About a semi-trailer load. Tonga, is an archipelago in the South Pacific Ocean, consisting of 169 islands, 36 of them inhabited. The Kingdom stretches over a distance of about 800 kilometres (500 mi) in a north–south line. That makes settlement sparse, which makes gathering information more difficult. It also hamper the delivery of aid.

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There's another reason for the delay in getting help there, too. Tonga is 100% COVID-free, and wants to stay that way. So the helpers are trying to ensure they don't bring COVID in to Tonga, and making sure all COVID protocols are followed.

On top of that, Nuku'alofa airport runway is covered in volcanic ash, which is stopping aircraft from landing at present. The relief teams are awaiting landing clearance from Tonga, as the Tongans organise a cleanup of the airport.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-19/australia-new-zealand-send-aid-ships-to-tonga/100766154

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8 hours ago, onetrack said:

There's another reason for the delay in getting help there, too.

Which just goes to show that complaining that we haven't got relief there already indicates that we haven't heard the facts. We were ready, willing and able to get in there as soon as we could, but that "soon" has been delayed by a number of problems within Tonga as a result of the damage caused by volcanic debris, and by the need not to add to the people's problems by bringing in disease along with the help.

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I still think we should have a ship on the way in at least two less days than it has taken. We are told that water is a problem, so it is imperativ to get a means of supplying water there as soon as possible.

When I started this conversation, my main thought was about the lack of response as far as I could see from the USA and China. The USA wants to be big daddy to all the pacific and they are telling us that China is trying to take their place and should be stopped. Doesn't that have something to do with submarines and france. Speaking of which where is France in all this, they also have an interest in the Pacific nations.

Problem is Tonga is too small to matter.

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Australia and New Zealand are close.  They have lots of litres of water on the ship but could have dropped De Sal kits. Have to get the aerodrome fixed and you'd need fuel supplies that normally come by sea to such places. Nev

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I'd reckon that there is enough naturally occurring water sources to keep the people going for a week or so. Archaeological work has shown that Tonga was first inhabited roughly 2,500 years ago by the Lapita civilisation. They've had access to water since then. It might be a bit tough in the towns.

 

At least we are not leaving the Tongans in the lurch. Perhaps the super powers are not coming in immediately simply because their resources are too far away.

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Help has arrived in the form of a C-17 from Australia this morning and a C-130 from NZ this afternoon. HMAS Adelaide will be leaving tomorrow with more supplies.

The Tongans are pretty well organised at cleaning up any natural disaster mess, it appears they have plenty of experience from previous cyclones and tsunami's, and they know how to deal with the mess.

It's not like the place has been completely destroyed, like Darwin at Christmas 1974 - the serious damage is limited to coastal areas facing the volcano, and a couple of the smaller low-lying islands that got hit quite badly.

 

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-01-20/tonga-worried-covid-coming-international-help-volcano-eruption/100768028

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