4 Jan 2017

Tongan police end landfill fire watch

7:47 pm on 4 January 2017

Police in Tonga have today ended an operation monitoring a massive landfill fire which started on Christmas Day.

Fire at Tapuhia landfill in Tonga

Fire at Tapuhia landfill in Tonga Photo: Matangi Tonga

About 20 firefighters were sent to Tapuhia on Christmas Day, assisted by an emergency team of 50 members from the defence services, police, and the National Emergency Management Office.

The Tonga Broadcasting Commission reports the Fire Commissioner at Tonga Fire & Emergency Services, Lofia Heimuli and the chief executive of the Waste Authority Malakai Lomu Sika officially declared the end of the operation and the withdrawal of officers from Tapuhia.

Fire at Tapuhia landfill, Tonga.

Fire at Tapuhia landfill, Tonga. Photo: Matangi Tonga

A fire expert from Australia was also in Tonga to help them with their operation.

The cause of fire is yet to be identified although authorities believe a build up of heat and toxic gas from the rubbish to be possible factors.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs