Japan dispatches self-defense force vessel to disaster-hit Tonga

Huang Panyue
2022-01-24 23:02:03

TOKYO, Jan. 24 (Xinhua) -- Japan's Maritime Self-Defense Force (MSDF) transport vessel Osumi departed from the Kure Naval Base in western Japan for Tonga with more aid to help the disaster-stricken Pacific islands nation.

The Defense Ministry said Osumi was carrying 60,000 liters of drinking water prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), as well as 60 high-pressure washers.

The washers will be used to help remove a thick blanket of volcanic ash left in the wake of a massive undersea volcanic eruption on Jan. 15 that rocked the nation and triggered a devastating tsunami.

The ministry also said that along with two CH-47 transport helicopters, two hovercrafts and trucks, 300 personnel would also join the mission as part of Japan's ongoing relief operation to the nation.

The latest dispatch followed two transport planes loaded with drinking water and other emergency supplies sent by Japan. The Tonga government said falling ash and the tsunami have affected more than 80 percent of its population.

Japan's first dispatch of supplies and aid to Tonga arrived on Saturday.

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