Tonga

Next stage unveiled in battle for Oceania club supremacy

The revised competition format, which was adapted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to reduce travel requirements on teams, is split into two phases.

Stage one will determine which clubs contest stage two, which will be an eight-team centralised finals tournament scheduled for August this year.

Fiji, New Caledonia, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu will stage home and away playoffs – involving the champion and runner up from their respective national league – through June, from which each winner will secure qualification to the finals tournament.

More than 1000 athletes to compete in Pacific Mini Games

Super typhoons, the withdrawal of government support and Covid-19 have disrupted the event which will now take place from June 17-25. It was originally due to be held in May/June 2021.

The hosts and Fiji lead the delegations with 125 athletes apiece.

Solomon Islands has 117 athletes while New Caledonia has 109. The smallest delegations are Norfolk Island and American Samoa with three each.

The 20 Pacific nations and territories attending and their number of athletes are:

PNG play Tahiti and returning Vanuatu in OFC football cup

It's Vanuatu's first appearance in the competition since 2010.

In Group A, Tonga have been drawn with the Cook Islands and Samoa.

Hosts Fiji are in Group C where they face New Caledonia and Solomon Islands.

The nine-team competition is being held from July 13-30.

The competition winner then goes into a ten-team inter-continental tournament to find three qualifiers for the Women's World Cup finals being hosted by New Zealand and Australia in 2023.

New Zealand, as co-hosts, are exempt from the qualifying tournament.

Samoan Methodist Church leaders contribute to Tonga relief effort

Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee co-chair, Anahila Kanongata'a-Suisuiki, said it has been overwhelming to see more than 20 pastors and their wives handing over the goods.

She said the distribution system in Tonga has changed, people can now pick up their barrels via contactless methods from the wharf.

Thirteen Churches were represented by their leaders who offloaded the goods themselves by hand.

Aotearoa Tonga Relief Committee spokesperson Jenny Salesa said this is a representation of the hundreds of years of love between Samoa and Tonga.

Fijian soldiers arrive in Tonga to assist with rehabilitation efforts

RFMF Commander, Major-General Ro Jone Kalouniwai said the contingent has been divided into two groups.

The first group comprising 32 soldiers were airlifted on a C117 aircraft from Brisbane to Tongatapu.

The soldiers flew to Brisbane last month where they completed quarantine requirements.

Kalouniwai said the other 19 personnel will be maintained as the rear party and will depart on the HMAS Canberra over the next few days to hand over with the HMAS Adelaide that is currently in Tonga.

Digicel restores intermittent internet connection in Tonga

Digicel Tonga CEO, Anthony Seuseu, said; “We are thrilled to get internet connectivity back up in the Kingdom. Apart from our prepaid customers, we also managed to connect some business customers - ANZ, BSP and the National Reserve Bank of Tonga, Tonga Power, Lulutai Airlines, Air New Zealand and the Western Union.”

ANZ Bank Tonga’s Senior IT Support Officer, Maikolo Pifeleti thanked the Digicel team for their hard work and resilience during this difficult time.

Tonga: Survivor tells of sea escape from tsunami-struck island

The volcanic eruption and tsunami hit the island nation on Saturday, sweeping Atata local Lisala Folau out to sea.

Mr Folau told the BBC that he held on to a floating log during his 27-hour ordeal at sea, before finally reaching the shore again.

Tonga has confirmed three deaths though the extent of damage is still unknown.

Mr Folau, 57, told the BBC's Newsday programme he was scared when he saw the wave approach, but "I had my faith in God he would save me".

Digicel continues to improve connectivity in Tonga

The service was restored following the set-up of a satellite link which had capacity limitations.

Digicel Regional CEO, Shally Jannif, said; “As soon as the link was opened up and international calls got restored last night, we saw an influx of callers as there were up to 200 simultaneous calls. We know that a lot of people tried to call their loved ones in Tonga but were having issues with connection. Today, our technical team did further upgrades on the link and we are pleased to announce that now 400 calls can be done at a time.”

Tonga volcano: New images reveal scale of damage after tsunami

They show the Pacific islands blanketed in a layer of volcanic ash, while in coastal areas the waves have torn down trees and ripped buildings apart.

Saturday's tsunami left at least three dead - including a British national - and crippled communications.

International phone links are said to have been restored but a severed undersea cable may take weeks to fix.

That means Tonga remains largely cut off from the outside world, with little known about the scale of destruction.

Digicel working round the clock to establish international communication with Tonga

Our domestic network in Tongatapu is active and we are working to restore international connectivity. Digicel’s engineers and the technical team are working on the issues and hope to have them resolved in the shortest time possible.