After the second eruption from the large underwater volcano, the Pacific island of Tonga has experienced large volcanic explosions followed by a tsunami that has flooded parts of the capital city, Nuku’alofa. In response to surge waves reportedly reaching heights of 2.7 feet inland, New Zealand and Australia have begun sending planes to assess the damage. The initial eruption sent a thick blanket of ash into the sky that can be seen from a space satellite, contaminating water supplies, cutting off communications and preventing surveillance flights. A sonic boom was heard as far away as Alaska.
Since then, numerous tsunami warnings have been issued in places including; Japan, Hawaii, Alaska, New Zealand, Chile, Fiji and the US Pacific coast. Damage and large waves were seen in Japan and California destroying boats as the US Geological Survey estimated the eruption to have caused a magnitude equivalent of a 5.8 earthquake. It has also been reported that two people have died in a coastal town of Peru after TV images show seawater flooding homes in the country’s center and north.
Protesters rallied across the UK against the police and crime bill. Hundreds of activists turned out in opposition against the proposed bill’s anti-protest measures, as the bill reaches its final stages in parliament. Condemned by human rights activists as an “attack on the right to protest” is to be voted on in the House of Lords on Monday 17. Marching with signs reading “defend the right to protest” and “UK democracy – murdered by the Tories”, demonstrators argue that the bill that will allow police the power to ban marches that they consider to be “seriously disruptive” is a mark of cancel culture and a restriction on freedom of speech from the current UK government. Travelling communities will also be greatly affected as it deems to criminalize residing on land without authorization.
Prison sentences of up to 10 years are also included in the bill, issued to those who inflict damage to memorials or statues. Recent events have seen this particular legislation spark heated debate after a British court acquitted the ‘Colston Four’, a group of four who were charged for criminal damage after pulling down a statue of slave trader Edward Colston in Bristol during a Black Lives Matter protest, further igniting a culture war in the UK.
Friday marked the annual date for India’s Maka Sankranti Festival. Devoted to Surya Devta or Sun God, Makar Sankranti is a Hindu harvest festival celebrating the end of winter and the beginning of longer days as the sun moves north. This period is considered to be extremely fortunate and worshipers usually bathe in sacred rivers, offer food and perform rituals on this day.
In sport, Novak Djokovic was deported after breaching Australia’s border entry requirements. The Serbian tennis player who believed he had a valid medical exemption from Covid vaccination has boarded a flight to Dubai after Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, stood by border police decision to deport the World No.1 for not complying with the nations border rules. Currently, anyone wanting to enter Australia must be vaccinated or have a valid medical reason and be able to show evidence of it. It has been reported that Djokovic “cited a recent Covid infection as a reason for not being vaccinated.”
As the Australian Open got underway without him, Naomi Osaka of Japan celebrated winning her first round Women’s singles match against Camila Osorio of Colombia on the first day of the tournament. And, Germany’s Yannick Hanfmann defeated Thanasi Kokkinakis of Australia to close their men’s singles match.
Elsewhere, in the preliminary group rounds of the 2022 EHF European Handball Championship, Germany and Poland progressed to the main stage after both winning their second successive group matches. Co-hosts Hungary clinched the win in their game against Portugal in the final five seconds and Iceland’s game against The Netherlands also won on a single point difference with the final score at 29-28 to the Scandi team.