SINGAPORE: The Singapore Red Cross has pledged S$50,000 in humanitarian aid towards the emergency response in Tonga, after the country was hit by a massive volcanic eruption and resultant tsunami.
The assistance will be used for relief items including food, water, hygiene and shelter, the Singapore Red Cross announced in a media release on Tuesday (Jan 18).
The emergency response will be carried out by the Red Cross and Red Crescent movement, led by the Tonga Red Cross.
Singapore Red Cross secretary-general and CEO Benjamin William said the full extent of damage in Tonga is not known yet, but many areas would have been affected by the "substantial volcanic ashfall".
"It is likely that the communities will be in need of access to food and safe drinking water. Shelter is also a concern particularly for communities residing near the coastline," he said, adding that there is currently very limited information on the situation, with all communication lines in the country disrupted with no timeframe given on restoration.
"Even the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement has limited contact with our counterparts in the Tonga Red Cross and are therefore unable to establish the full scale of the disaster and nature of the support they need besides the basic necessities."
Mr William added that the Singapore Red Cross is monitoring the situation closely and stands ready to offer more assistance as it receives updates on the situation in Tonga.