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First aid flights arrive in Tonga after big volcano eruption

By NICK PERRY
Associated Press

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — The first flights carrying fresh water and other aid to Tonga finally arrived after the Pacific nation’s main airport runway was cleared of ash left by a huge volcanic eruption. New Zealand and Australia each sent military transport planes that were carrying water containers, kits for temporary shelters, generators, hygiene supplies and communications equipment. The Australian plane also had a special sweeper to help keep the runway clear. U.N. humanitarian officials report more than 80% of Tonga’s population have been impacted by the volcano’s eruption. Homes were destroyed, drinking water was polluted by volcanic ash, and the single fiber-optic cable that connects Tonga with the world was likely severed.

Associated Press

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