26 May 2023

Pacific news and sport briefs for May 26

1:26 pm on 26 May 2023

Tokelau - covid-19

Tokelau remains in lockdown following the announcement of its first Covid-19 community cases.

Between May 15 and 26, four community cases were reported on Nukunonu.

There is one border case on the atoll too and two on Fakaofo.

General Manager National Aukusitino Vitale said more than 70 people travelled from Apia to Tokelau on the Lady Samoa on Sunday, May 14.

All passengers who disembarked on Nukunonu tested negative on day one but on day three, a 48-year-old male tested positive.

On Sunday May 21, the man's son tested positive, becoming the first community case in Tokelau.

Tonga - volcanic eruption

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai eruption disrupted satellite signals halfway around the world.

An international team of researchers demonstrated an air pressure wave triggered by volcanic eruptions could produce an "equatorial plasma bubble".

An equatorial plasma bubble, or EPB, is a hole formed in the equatorial areas of the ionosphere, which severely disrupts satellite-based communications.

It can delay radio waves as well as degrade the performance of GPS.

An assistant professor at Japan's Nagoya University, who led the research team, says this study will contribute to the prevention of satellite broadcasting and communication failures associated with ionospheric disturbances caused by earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and other events.

The findings were published in the journal Scientific Reports.

An undersea volcano eruption in Tonga on Saturday 15 January, 2022. The eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano came just a few hours after Friday's tsunami warning was lifted.

Photo: Tonga Meteorological Services / EyePress via AFP

Samoa - sister city pact

The Samoan village Poutasi has signed a sister city pact with Hastings in New Zealand.

The Samoa Observer reports this was signed off this week after Hastings mayor Sandra Hazelhurst was bestowed with the matai title of To'osavili.

The two towns have had an agreement for 17 years for fruit pickers, but the new pact means Hastings will be able to help Poutasi in socio-economic projects, education and enable trade opportunities.

The formal signing of the protocol was done following a visit by a Hastings delegation to Samoa, for the Mana Trade Summit 2023.

Solomon Islands - futsal

The Solomon Islands futsal team has begun its Vietnam tour with a 5-nil defeat to the home side.

Vietnam is ranked 15 spots ahead of Solomon Islands in the FIFA Futsal rankings.

Both sides are preparing for the World Cup qualifications; the Pacific Islanders will contest a spot in the worldwide tournament being held this year.

The teams play again on Saturday.

Meanwhile, squad member Calvin Do'oro has signed a contract with a Chinese Futsal Super League side.

The Solomon Islands Football Federation has announced that the Kurukuru and Dawn FC player has signed with Xiangyu FC.

The Federation says it received the offer from the Chinese club after the recent Melanesian Cup where he won the golden boot award and MVP.