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Natural disasters

Tonga islands face food shortages a week after volcano eruption

Long-term aid to archipelago will be 'essential,' WHO official says

Debris from the tsunami litters a coastline in the Tonga capital of Nuku'alofa. (Broadcom Broadcasting via AP)

TOKYO/SYDNEY -- Food emergencies have broken out in parts of Tonga a week after a volcanic eruption and tsunami covered crops in ash, tainted water and cut off supplies to the tiny South Pacific archipelago, according to a World Health Organization official.

"Crops have died and leaves are covered in ash," said Yutaro Setoya, the officer in charge of the local WHO liaison office. "Food emergencies are starting to develop on the smaller islands."

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