Armed forces and police take to streets together for tsunami drill in Nuku‘alofa

Ngāue fakataha e polisi' mo e sōtia' ki he tauhi e melino' 'i loto Nuku'alofa lolotonga mo e hili 'o ha ngaahi fuhu lahi he kolomu'a' ki mui' ni mai

Tongan police and army have been working together in Nuku’alofa today on a tsunami drill.

Earlier reports suggested the army was helping police patrol the capital’s central business district.

However, a police spokesperson said late today the photograph of soldiers and police on the streets that has been widely circulated, showed members of the two services were  engaged in a tsunami drill.

Kaniva news is happy to clarify the situation.

The army does not have the authority to become involved in domestic duties unless a state of emergency has been declared.

The National Emergency Management Office and other Ministries conducted a tsunami drill today.

NEMO said members of His Majesty’s Armed Forces (HMAF), Ministry of Police and Tonga Fire Department patrolled the streets to ensure public safety.

An alert for a 9.0 Richter scale earthquake was broadcast on radio at 12:30pm.

While schools and businesses were not evacuated, people were urged to gather at their respective assembly areas once the exercise started.

People not taking part in the drill were invited to observe local Government primary schools.

If a natural disaster strikes and a state of emergency is declared, both forces will be authorised to carry out emergency duty.

After Cyclone Gita in February hundreds of military personnel helped clear roads.

The main points

  • Tongan police and army have been working together in Nuku’alofa today on a tsunami drill.
  • Earlier reports suggested the army was helping police patrol the capital’s central business district.
  • Kaniva news is happy to clarify the situation.

For more information 

NEMO leads National Tsunami Drill

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