First came a volcanic eruption, blanketing Tonga’s main island in thick layers of ash that contaminated water sources. Then came a tsunami, which destroyed homes, left piles of debris and ripped out vegetation, stripping parts of the country’s smaller islands completely bare. Now, the South Pacific archipelago nation is emerging from lockdown amid its first coronavirus outbreak, compounding the disasters that took place last month.“It happened so fast, and the general atmosphere of the people here is panic,” Seko Vaipulu, a resident in Malapo, a small village on the main island of Tongatapu, said shortly after the lockdown was announced Feb. 2, saying he “felt like a prisoner.”Download the NBC News app for breaking news and politics Like many other remote countries in the Pacific Ocean — a strategically important region where the U.S. and China are vying for influence — Tonga had largely kept the virus off its shores for much of the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to border restrictions and quarantine requirements. But the volcanic eruption and the resulting tsunami on Jan. 15 have raised fears that the arrival of international disaster aid could bring the virus with it.“We want one disaster, not two disasters at the same time,” said Drew Havea,


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