2 dead from flooding in Peru as damage to Tonga remains unclear

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Two people have drowned in Peru after high waves from an undersea volcanic eruption off the coast of Tonga struck the Peruvian coast Sunday, Reuters reports

The San Francisco Bay area also saw some flood damage, according to the local ABC affiliate.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Sunday that the tsunami that struck Tonga had “a significant impact on the foreshore on the northern side of [Tongan capital city] Nuku’alofa, with boats and large boulders washed ashore,” The New York Times reported. Tongan King Tupou VI was evacuated from his palace by the sea.

According to BBC, the few locals who have managed to get messages to the outside world say Tonga looks “like a moonscape,” having been covered by a thick coating of ash.

The full extent of tsunami damage in the Polynesian archipelago nation remains unclear as ash obstructs the view from the sky and the submarine cable that connects Tonga to the outside world remains out of commission, according to Al Jazeera and The Wall Street Journal

New Zealand’s government has pledged the equivalent of around $340,000 to aid in recovery with the promise of more to follow. Ardern said securing a supply of clean drinking water will be a top priority, with ash and saltwater flooding likely contaminating much of Tonga’s supply, per BBC.

The volcano, called Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, shot smoke and ash more than 12 miles into the sky and produced a shockwave felt as far away as New Zealand.

Tonga has a population of just over 100,000 people, of whom 70 percent live on the main island of Tongatapu.

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