According various 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 over the weekend. Several islands in the Pacific Ocean have issued tsunami warnings as a result of an eruption in an underwater volcano. A 1.2 meter high tsunami wave has hit the island state of Tonga on January 15th 2022.
The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano erupted that day, causing a tsunami that caused widespread damage in the Pacific. Tonga had then to start an evacuation for the most threatened inhabitants along the cost. The move began with King Tupou VI and the royal family who were quickly evacuated by the royal military guard escorted by a long police procession according to various media.
Now the danger is over and it seems that there is no longer any danger of new waves. Local media claim that the King of Tonga has therefore returned to his castle with his family to see what damage the building and the coast have received due to the high wave that caused major flooding.
A few days earlier, the King of Tonga had asked parliament to “emphasize economic development in order to help companies in difficulty” and to ensure that the population has access to all the basic necessities which are lacking in due to the Covid-19 pandemic which has slowed down all exports from Tonga.
The Royal Palace of the Kingdom of Tonga is located in the northwest of the capital, Nukualofa, close to the Pacific Ocean. The wooden Palace, which was built in 1867, is the official residence of the King of Tonga. The palace is not open to the public, and it is easily visible from the waterfront. Tupou VI is the King of Tonga. He is the younger brother and successor of the late King George Tupou V. He was officially confirmed by his brother on 27 September 2006 as the heir to the Throne of Tonga. He served as Tonga’s High Commissioner to Australia, and resided in Canberra until the death of King George Tupou V in 2012.