India has extended deep sympathy to the government and the people of the Kingdom of Tonga for the damage

India has disbursed US$200,000 in immediate relief assistance to support the Kingdom of Tonga’s response and recovery following the devastating volcanic eruption and Tsunami on January 15.

Media reports have quoted the Tongan government as saying that over 84 per cent of the country's population has been affected by the ashfall and Tsunami.

These funds will provide resources the Government can use to reestablish basic services and help Tongan families most affected. It will help support relief, rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the Kingdom of Tonga, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Tuesday.

According to the MEA, Disaster Risk Reduction and Management is an important pillar of India’s Indo-Pacific Oceans’ Initiative (IPOI) announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in November 2019.

The recent gesture came from India as a close friend and partner under the Forum for India-Pacific Islands Cooperation (FIPIC) and as a token of solidarity with the friendly people of Tonga, said a press release issued by the MEA.

India has firmly stood by Tonga during times of crisis and devastation caused by natural disasters, as during Cyclone Gita in 2018, the ministry added.