Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcanic Eruption


Ahi Saipaia


September 1, 2022

Responding to the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai Volcanic Eruption

In January 2022 the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai submarine volcano erupted. Ash clouds from the eruption and the subsequent tsunami damaged croplands on the Tongatapu and Ha’apai island groups.

Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Forests staff used the Tonga Crop Survey data, which was collected using the maplandscape workflow, to perform an initial assessment of damage to the food supply.


Croplands damaged after Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption.

The maplandscape workflow uses QField for mobile data collection. QField has full online and offline modes; this enabled Ministry staff to conduct damage mapping activities and conduct surveys to monitor how government resources for recovering croplands were being used while the countries internet was cut off. The eruption severed the undersea cable which connected Tonga to the internet.

In the months following the eruption, Ministry staff used maplandscape to interview community leaders in areas affected by the eruption to ascertain loss and damage to croplands, harvested crops, and agricultural infrastructure. This information was used to compute relief payments.


Trees damaged after Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption.