Australia supports maintenance of Tonga Tidal and Tsunami Station

Essential maintenance of the Tonga Tidal and Tsunami Station and Global Navigation Satellite System is carried out by a team from the Australian Government-funded Climate and Ocean Support Program in the Pacific.

They will decommission the old tide gauge at Queen Salote Wharf and replace it with a new tide and tsunami station at Vuna Wharf.

Jeff Aquilina and Brendon Collopy of the Australian Bureau of Meteorology (nomenclature) and Poate Degei of the Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC), work with the Tonga Meteorological Services and the Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources.

The team’s work on the Tide and Tsunami Station will ensure that this technology can continue to provide up-to-date tidal information every minute to the Tonga Meteorological Services, Government of Tonga, nomenclature and the SPC.

This tidal information is essential for developing tide maps, tracking climate change, and understanding what happens during severe weather events and disasters, such as the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai tsunami.

The data will inform the Government of Tonga’s coastal infrastructure planning, particularly during disaster recovery, and enable accurate long-term sea level records for the Pacific region.

The tide and tsunami station at Nuku’alofa is one of 14 installed by the Australian Government across the Pacific.

The tide station also works in conjunction with the Global Navigation Satellite Systems, located at Vuna Wharf and ‘Apifo’ or College, which tracks the seismic movement of the earth. This helps to track and understand natural events that impact Tonga.

Meanwhile, COSPPThe ac program is in its second phase and is helping 15 Pacific islands monitor their weather data to build our understanding of climate, oceans and disaster resilience.

In this second phase, DFT provided USD $28.6 million in funding.

COSPPac is a partnership between the Australian Bureau of Meteorology, Geoscience Australia, the Secretariat of the Pacific Community, the Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Program and the New Zealand National Institute for Water and Atmospheric Research , who collaborate with local ministries and their counterparts in each country.

In Tonga, COSPPac works closely with the Tonga Meteorological Services (Tonga MEET), MEIDECC and Department of Lands and Natural Resources.

australian high commissioner, HE Rachael Moore and First Development Secretary Shelly Thomson met with the team on August 18 at Vuna Wharf in Nuku’alofa.

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