2 Jul 2016

Tonga in need of clear tsunami evacuation plan

10:13 am on 2 July 2016

The need for a tsunami evacuation route from low-lying Nuku'alofa has been brought up as a major concern by a Noble Representative in Tonga's parliament.

Matangi Tonga reported that this week MPs debated the budget which includes a 36 million US dollar allocation for the ministry responsible for disaster management.

During that debate Lord Nuku pointed out that there is already heavy traffic congestion on the main road starting from the village of Veitonga into the capital of Nuku'alofa from eastern and central Tongatapu.

A street in downtown Nuku Alofa in Tonga.

A street in downtown Nuku Alofa in Tonga. Photo: TORSTEN BLACKWOOD / AFP

He said in case of a natural disaster he would hate to think what would happen.

Lord Nuku said that there was money in the budget and sirens had been set up but there was nowhere to run in the case of a tsunami.

The Minister for MEIDECC, Siaosi Sovaleni, told MPs the government was aware of the problem.

He said that they have identified some high ground in Nuku'alofa where people could find shelter, including the New Zealand High Commission residence and the Sia Ko-Veiongo.