Speed Reading — Tonga Tsunami - Level 3 — 100 wpm

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A cleanup operation has begun in Tonga after the island nation was hit by a tsunami and covered in volcanic ash at the weekend. The Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai undersea volcano erupted on Saturday. Experts believe it was the world's biggest volcanic eruption in over 30 years. It sent tsunami waves across the Pacific to Japan and the U.S. coast. It also destroyed large parts of Tonga. Islanders are now trying to restore services and normal life to the country. However, the ash is making this difficult. A lot of the rescue and recovery work cannot go ahead until the ash has been cleared. It has buried many buildings. It is also blocking many of the country's roads.

Tonga's government called the eruption from the volcano and the tsunami "unprecedented". It said the twin disasters have severely affected life on the island. There is no Internet because the only underwater cable connecting Tonga to the World Wide Web was cut by the eruption. Engineers are trying to restore full communications. It is also difficult to fly aid into the country because the airport is damaged. Tonga's government is worried that rescue efforts may bring COVID-19 into the country. Tonga shut its borders to international arrivals in 2020. It said it was "covid-free" before the tsunami. It now fears international aid workers could bring a "tsunami of COVID-19" into the country.

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