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No Filipino casualty in Tonga, Samoa after volcanic eruption —DFA

The Philippine Embassy in Wellington has received no reports so far of Filipinos injured or killed in Tonga and Samoa following the underwater volcanic eruption that triggered tsunamis across the Pacific, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Wednesday.

In a statement, DFA noted that the Association of Filipinos in Tonga Inc. informed the Philippine Embassy in Wellington regarding the situation of Filipinos in the Kingdom of Tonga.

“Every Filipino citizen in the Kingdom of Tonga has been accounted for and that there are currently no casualties,” DFA said.

DFA added that internet and international calls are still unavailable in the area, but the Philippine Embassy in Wellington will continue to contact the Filipinos in Tonga through emergency satellite phone.

“Indications show that it might take two weeks before the communications system is fully restored in Tonga,” DFA said.

The Pacific island of Tonga experienced a massive volcanic eruption Saturday followed by a tsunami that flooded parts of its capital, Nuku'alofa.

The US-based Pacific tsunami warning center then reported that tsunami waves measuring 2 feet in height were observed by sea-level gauges at the capital of the US territory of American Samoa following volcanic activity in Tonga.

DFA said it will continue to monitor the situation in Tonga through the Philippine Embassy in Wellington to ensure the safety of the Filipinos there.

“The Association of Filipinos in Tonga Inc. has requested the Philippine Embassy in Wellington to let their families know that our kababayans are safe,” DFA added.—LDF, GMA News

Foreign Affairs spokesman Ed Meñez said on Monday that the Philippine Embassy in New Zealand, which has jurisdiction over Tonga, Samoa, and Fiji, is still checking if there were Filipinos affected by the eruption and tsunamis.


There are 87 Filipinos in Tonga, 300 in Samoa, and 400 in Fiji, the DFA said.