Recently, the Pacific Ocean has been hit by a series of natural disasters. Tonga in particular has suffered from a major volcanic eruption which also caused a tsunami that hit many of the islands in the small kingdom. Crown Prince Haakon of Norway has sent a message of condolence to King Tupou VI of Tonga after the volcanic eruption and the subsequent tsunami that has hit the island state hard.
The Crown Prince writes: «Your Majesty. I was saddened to learn about the devastation and destruction caused by the eruption of the Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha’apai volcano on 15 January and the subsequent tsunami. I have fond memories of my visit to your country in 2019 – the warmth of your people, the beauty of your land. But I also recall the vulnerability of Tonga’s coastline and challenges related to extreme events».
The Norwegian Crown Prince continues: «On behalf of the Royal family and of the people of Norway, I wish to convey my deepest sympathy to Your Majesty, the rest of the Royal family and to the people of the Kingdom of Tonga at this difficult time. Haakon, Crown Prince».
Crown Prince Haakon himself visited Tonga in 2019 and was then in meetings with the King of Tonga. His trip also focused on those hardest hit by climate change. The Crown Prince also saw the Royal Palace of Tonga during his visit in 2019.
According to reports in local media, King Tupou VI of Tonga was evacuated from the royal palace shortly before a tsunami, triggered by the eruption of a volcano, hit his kingdom. He was later able to return. Communication with Tonga has also been badly hit by recent events making it difficult to get a full picture of the impact of the eruption and the tsunami.