This can prove dangerous to modern aircraft as the ash can gather inside the engines. “The ash has proven more difficult to clear than was expected,” said Jonathan Veitch, Fiji-based UN coordinator on the crisis.
It is expected that the runway will be cleared later on Wednesday.
Aid missions on their way
New Zealand also dispatched two military ships on Tuesday that are expected to arrive on Friday.
The HMNZS Aotearoa is carrying bulk water supplies as well as a desalination plant capable of processing 70,000 liters of water a day. Survey and diving teams are also on their way onboard the HMNZS Wellington.
Another ship from Australia is also planning to set sail soon.
Coronavirus is yet another complication for the island, as Tonga is one of the few countries that has not recorded any Covid-19 outbreaks, prompting fears about the importation of infections from outside aid.
Tonga confirmed on Tuesday that three people were killed in the tsunami with multiple other people suffering injuries.