Australian aircraft left Brisbane carrying aid to Tonga

The first aircraft carrying humanitarian supplies for Tonga departed from Australia and New Zealand after the runway on the Pacific island's airport was cleared of ash, an Australian official said

An Australian Globemaster aircraft left Brisbane this morning carrying aid, the official told Reuters, confirming Tonga's airport had opened.

The Australian High Commission in Tonga said on its Facebook page that Australia had provided AUD $1 million for the recovery effort, and two Royal Australian Air Force aircraft would arrive in Tonga today.

"They are loaded with much-needed humanitarian supplies, as well as telecommunications equipment to help re-establish connectivity between the main island and remote islands," the statement said.

HMAS Adelaide will also set sail from Brisbane on Friday with water purification equipment and more humanitarian supplies, the statement said.

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