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New Zealand Pm Ardern says Tonga eruption ‘hugely concerning’

Randy Mancini 15 Jan 15
FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern participates in a debate in Auckland
FILE PHOTO: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern participates in a televised debate with National leader Judith Collins at TVNZ in Auckland, New Zealand, September 22, 2020. Fiona Goodall/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo

January 16, 2022

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Sunday that images of volcanic eruption near Tonga were “hugely concerning” and agencies were still trying to establish full communications with the country.

Communications in all of Tonga were cut off as a result of the eruption, making any assessment difficult, Ardern said. But the defence force and foreign ministry are working to establish what’s needed and how New Zealand can help, she added.

Ardern will address the media at 3 p.m New Zealand time to give an update on the situation.

(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Leslie Adler)