Supplies loaded onto HMS Spey to deliver aid to Tonga after tsunami 240122 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
Supplies were loaded onto patrol ship HMS Spey in Tahiti and will soon arrive in Tonga (Picture: Royal Navy).
Navy

Royal Navy to arrive at tsunami-hit Tonga soon after collecting aid

HMS Spey set sail for Tonga on Friday and will "soon arrive" after picking up supplies in French Polynesia.

Supplies loaded onto HMS Spey to deliver aid to Tonga after tsunami 240122 CREDIT ROYAL NAVY
Supplies were loaded onto patrol ship HMS Spey in Tahiti and will soon arrive in Tonga (Picture: Royal Navy).

The Royal Navy is to begin delivering aid to tsunami-hit Tonga after picking up supplies in Tahiti.

The Navy shared a photo of patrol ship HMS Spey alongside in French Polynesia, with medical kit and drinking water being loaded onto the vessel.

In a tweet, the Navy said the offshore patrol vessel will "soon arrive" in Tonga.

Once there, the ship will work with other militaries, including the Royal New Zealand Navy, Royal Australian Navy and US Coast Guard.

HMS Spey is deployed to the Indo-Pacific region as part of a five-year mission, offering quick response to security threats.

The River-class vessel began sailing towards the islands on Friday.

Three deaths from the disaster have been confirmed in Tonga so far.

The tsunami was triggered by an underwater volcano eruption on 15 January.

UN humanitarian officials have reported that about 84,000 people, 80% of Tonga's population, have been impacted by the eruption.

The tsunami severed the single fibre-optic cable that connects Tonga to the rest of the world, leaving many unable to connect with loved ones abroad, although satellite communication has been improved.

Three of Tonga's smaller islands suffered serious damage from tsunami waves.

The majority of Tongans live on the main island of Tongatapu, where about 50 homes were destroyed and coastlines strewn with debris.

Aircraft from Japan's Self-Defence Forces have also been flying in aid.

Australian navy ship HMAS Adelaide, which has a 40-bed hospital on board, is expected to reach Tonga by Friday.

The ship can generate electricity and purify water.

A lack of clean water was a priority because local supplies have been damaged by layers of volcanic ash and saltwater.