The Australian Defence Force is supporting the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) as it coordinates Australia’s support Tonga following the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai underwater volcano on Saturday, January 15.
CAPTION: A C-130J Hercules departs RAAF Base Richmond, NSW, to assist the Government of Tonga after the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano. Photo by Corporal Kylie Gibson.
On January 17 and 18, two Air Force P-8A Poseidon flights and one C-130J Hercules departed RAAF Base Amberley and RAAF Base Richmond to conduct aerial surveillance over the central islands of Tonga.
The Government of Tonga requested the flights to help determine the extent of the damage, particularly in more remote locations, and inform their future disaster support requests.
HMAS Adelaide departed Fleet Base East in Sydney to pre-position in Brisbane, ready to provide additional humanitarian assistance and disaster relief (HADR) support if requested by the by the Government of Tonga.