ISTANBUL

Two Chinese military aircraft will deliver disaster relief supplies to the South Pacific nation of Tonga which was hit by a powerful tsunami triggered by the eruption of a massive underwater volcano, a Chinese official said on Wednesday.

“With the consent of Tonga, China decided to send two military aircraft to deliver about 33 tons of disaster relief supplies to Tonga on Thursday, including drinking water, food, PPE (personal protective equipment) and tents,” Lijian Zhao, spokesperson of China’s Foreign Ministry, told a news conference.

Lijian said the Chinese navy will arrange ships to send materials such as tractors and generators to the disaster-hit island nation.

On Monday, Beijing had announced it will send three batches of supplies, including emergency aid worth 20 million yuan ($3.2 million), cash assistance, and some materials to the island nation.

Earlier this month, a massive volcanic eruption triggered a tsunami that hit most parts on the west side of Tonga’s main Tongatapu island.

The eruption was far more powerful than the nuclear bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, at the end of World War II, the US space agency NASA said last week.

Tonga, home to just over 105,000 people, is the third biggest archipelago nation of more than 170 South Pacific islands, many of which are uninhabited but covered with tropical rainforest.

A number of countries have extended a helping hand to Tonga after the disaster.

Four Japanese aircraft also left Australia on Monday to deliver more aid to Tonga, following last week’s delivery of three tons of drinking water.

New Zealand and Australia have also sent aid to the disaster-hit island nation.

Copyright 2022 Anadolu Agency. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.