Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna, said he heard the Tonga volcano eruption from his base in Suva Fiji, and is trying to contact the prime minister of Tonga.
Statement in full as follows:
“Like the rest of the Forum family, I am shocked by the volcanic eruptions in Tonga. Even from the relative safety of Suva, we could feel and hear the eruptions which rocked the Kingdom and large parts of the region to its core.
I am anxious about the safety and welfare of the people of Tonga and pledge the resources of the Pacific Islands Forum to Tonga. Once communications have been restored, I will endeavour to speak with Prime Minister Hu’akavameiliku Siaosi Sovaleni to see how the Pacific Islands Forum can be of assistance.
In the coming hours and days we will get a clearer picture of the situation in Tonga, as well as the rest of the Blue Pacific Continent.
In the meantime, I ask that we keep the people and Government of Tonga in our thoughts and prayers as they respond to this once in a millennium natural disaster.”
Secretary General of the Pacific Islands Forum, Henry Puna