LAGOS, Portugal — The Bam Bam Beach Bitcoin bar, on an uncrowded beach in southwestern Portugal, is the meeting place.
To get there, you drive past a boat harbor, oceanside hotels and apartment buildings, then park near a sleepy seafood restaurant and walk down a wooden path that cuts through a sand dune. Yellow Bitcoin flags blow in the wind. The conversations about cryptocurrencies and a decentralized future flow.
“People always doubt when to buy, when to sell,” said Didi Taihuttu, a Dutch investor who moved to town this summer and is one of Bam Bam’s owners. “We solve that by being all in.”
melted down, and crypto companies like the experimental bank Celsius Network declared bankruptcy as fears over the global economy yanked down values of the risky assets. Thousands of investors were hurt by the crash. The price of Bitcoin, which peaked at more than $68,000 last year, remains off by more than 70 percent.
But in this Portuguese seaside idyll, confidence in cryptocurrencies is undimmed. Every Friday, 20 or so visitors from Europe and beyond gather at Bam Bam to share their unwavering faith in digital currencies. Their buoyancy and cheer endure across Portugal and in other crypto hubs around the world, such as Puerto Rico and Cyprus.
In beach towns like Ericeira and Lagos, shops and restaurants show their acceptance of digital currencies by taking Bitcoin as payment. Lisbon, the capital, has become a hub for crypto-related start-ups such as Utrust, a cryptocurrency payment platform, and Immunefi, a company that identifies security vulnerabilities in decentralized networks.
“Portugal should be the Silicon Valley of Bitcoin,” Mr. Taihuttu said. “It has all the ingredients.”
news outlets covered his family’s story, Mr. Taihuttu’s social media following swelled, turning him into an influencer and a source of investment advice. A documentary film crew has followed him on and off for the past 18 months. This summer, he settled in Portugal and quickly became something of an ambassador for its crypto scene.
He has goals to turn Meia Praia, the beach where Bam Bam is located, into “Bitcoin Beach.” He is shopping for property to create a community nearby for fellow believers.
“You prove that it is possible to run some part of the world, even if it’s just one,” said Mr. Taihuttu, with a Jack Daniel’s and Coke in hand. He has shoulder-length black hair and wore a tank top that showcased his tan and tattoos (including one on his forearm of the Bitcoin symbol).
Ms. Bestandig was among those who Mr. Taihuttu drew to Portugal.
collapse of Mt. Gox, a Tokyo-based virtual currency exchange that declared bankruptcy in 2014 after huge, unexplained losses of Bitcoin.
If cryptocurrency prices do not recover, “a lot of them will have to go back to work again,” Clinton Donnelly, an American tax lawyer specializing in cryptocurrencies, said of some of those gathered at Bam Bam.
Even so, Mr. Donnelly and other bar regulars said their belief in crypto remained unshaken.
Thomas Roessler, wearing a black Bitcoin shirt and drinking a beer “inspired by” the currency, said he had come with his wife and two young children to decide whether to move to Portugal from Germany. He first invested in Bitcoin in 2014 and, more recently, sold a small rental apartment in Germany to invest even more.
Mr. Roessler was concerned about the drop in crypto values but said he was convinced the market would rebound. Moving to Portugal could lower his taxes and give his family the chance to buy affordable property in a warm climate, he said. They had come to the bar to learn from others who had made the move.
“We have not met a lot of people who live this way,” Mr. Roessler said. Then he bought another round of drinks and paid for them with Bitcoin.
Fiona was about 135 miles southeast of St. Croix Saturday morning and could near hurricane strength when it passes through Puerto Rico Sunday night.
Tropical Storm Fiona was expected to become a hurricane as it neared Puerto Rico on Saturday, threatening to dump up to 20 inches of rain as people braced for potential landslides, severe flooding and power outages.
The storm previously battered various eastern Caribbean islands, with one death reported in the French territory of Guadeloupe. Regional prefect Alexandre Rochatte told reporters Saturday that the body was found on the side of a road after floods washed away a home in the capital of Basse-Terre. More than 20 other people were rescued amid heavy wind and rain that left 13,000 customers without power.
Fiona was located 130 miles southeast of St. Croix Saturday morning with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. It was moving west at 8 mph on a path forecast to pass near or over Puerto Rico on Sunday night. Fiona was expected to become a hurricane while moving near Puerto Rico.
Here are the 11 am AST Saturday, Sep. 17 Key Messages for Tropical Storm #Fiona.https://t.co/7m27nWvwTP pic.twitter.com/ikJGWHTEiY
— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 17, 2022
“We are already starting to feel its effects,” said Puerto Rico Gov. Pedro Pierluisi. “We should not underestimate this storm.”
He said the heavy rains anticipated are dangerous because the island’s soil is already saturated. Meanwhile, many Puerto Ricans worried about serious power outages since the reconstruction of the island’s power grid razed by Hurricane Maria in 2017 only recently began. The grid remains fragile and power outages occur daily.
Fiona is expected to swipe past the Dominican Republic on Sunday as a potential hurricane and Haiti and the Turks and Caicos Islands on Monday and Tuesday with the threat of extreme rain.
Forecaster issued a hurricane watch for the U.S. Virgin Islands, as well as the southern coast of the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engaño westward to Cabo Caucedo and for the northern coast from Cabo Engaño westward to Puerto Plata.
In Puerto Rico, authorities opened shelters and closed public beaches, casinos, theaters and museums as they urged people to remain indoors. Officials also transferred hundreds of endangered Puerto Rican parrots to their shelter.
Pierluisi said $550 million in emergency funds are available to deal with the storm’s aftermath along with enough food to feed 200,000 people for 20 days three times a day.
At least one cruise ship visit and several flights to the island were canceled, while authorities in the eastern Caribbean islands canceled school and prohibited people from practicing aquatic sports as Fiona battered the region.
In the French Caribbean island of Guadeloupe, authorities said they recorded wind gusts of up to 74 mph, which would be considered a Category 1 hurricane. They also said 9 inches of rain fell in three hours in the Gros Morne area.
Fiona, which is the Atlantic hurricane season’s sixth named storm, was predicted to bring 5 to 10 inches of rain in eastern and southern Puerto Rico, with as much as 20 inches in isolated spots. Rains of 4 to 8 inches were forecast for the Dominican Republic, with up to 12 inches in places. Life-threatening surf also was possible from Fiona’s winds, forecasters said.
KYIV, Ukraine — The Crimean Peninsula dangles off Ukraine’s southern coast like a diamond, blessed with a temperate climate, expansive beaches, lush wheat fields and orchards stuffed with cherries and peaches.
It is also a critical staging ground for Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Connected via bridge to Russia and serving as a home to Moscow’s Black Sea Fleet, Crimea provides a vital link in the Russian military’s supply chain that supports tens of thousands of soldiers now occupying a vast swath of southern Ukraine.
For President Vladimir V. Putin, it is hallowed ground, having been declared part of Russia by Catherine the Great in 1783, helping pave the way for her empire to become a naval power. The Soviet ruler Nikita S. Khrushchev gave it to Ukraine in 1954. And because Ukraine was then a Soviet republic, not much changed.
But when the Soviet Union collapsed nearly four decades later, Russia lost its jewel. Mr. Putin thus claimed to be righting a historic wrong when he illegally annexed Crimea in 2014.
Mr. Putin promised at the time that he had no intention of further dividing Ukraine. Yet eight years later, in February, tens of thousands of Russian soldiers stormed north out of the peninsula, kicking off the current war.
In recent days, military targets in Crimea have come under attack, and the peninsula once again finds itself at the fulcrum of a great power struggle.
Early in the war, Russian troops surging from Crimea seized swaths of the Kherson and Zaporizhia regions that remain the key to Russia’s occupation of southern Ukraine.
Crimea, in turn, offers key logistical support for Russia to maintain its occupation army, including two main rail links that Russia relies on for moving heavy military equipment. Crimean air bases have been used to stage sorties against Ukrainian positions, and the peninsula has provided a launching ground for long-range Russian missiles.
The peninsula is also home to Russia’s Black Sea Fleet, helping Russia maintain dominion over the sea, including a naval blockade that has crippled Ukraine’s economy.
A Place in the Sun
Russia is cold — a fifth of the country is above the Arctic Circle. But it can be positively balmy in the sun-drenched Crimean city of Yalta.
“Russia needs its paradise,” wrote Prince Grigory Potemkin, Catherine the Great’s general and lover, when he urged her to claim the land.
Crimea is where czars and Politburo chairmen kept vacation homes. Before the West imposed sanctions on Russia for illegally annexing the peninsula, it was a place where wealthy Eastern Europeans went to unwind and party.
“Casinos buzz and ping everywhere amid the city’s pine-bowered alleyways,” a New York Times Travel article proclaimed about Yalta in 2006, adding: “Much — if not everything — goes in this seaside boomtown.”
Tourism fell steeply after 2014. But when explosions rang out at an air base last week near Crimea’s western coast, there were still visitors at nearby resorts taking photos and videos as black smoke obscured the sun.
Ties to Russia
“Crimea has always been an integral part of Russia in the hearts and minds of people,” Mr. Putin declared in his 2014 address marking the annexation. But his is a selective reading of history.
Over the centuries, Greeks and Romans, Goths and Huns, Mongols and Tatars have all laid claim to the land.
And perhaps no group in Crimea has watched the unfolding war with as much trepidation as the Tatars, Turkic Muslims who migrated from the Eurasian steppes in the 13th century.
They were brutally targeted by Stalin, who — in a foreshadowing of the Kremlin’s justification for its current war — accused them of being Nazi collaborators and deported them en masse. Thousands died in the process.
In 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev, the last Soviet leader, allowed Tatars to return to Crimea. And before the 2014 annexation, they made up about 12 percent of Crimea’s population, numbering about 260,000 there.
In 2017, Human Rights Watch accused Moscow of intensifying the persecution of the Tatar minority in Crimea, “with the apparent goal of completely silencing dissent on the peninsula.”
While Ukraine has stopped short of claiming responsibility, Russia has denied the attack even happened and said no aircraft were damaged.
Ukraine’s air force said Wednesday that nine Russian warplanes were destroyed in massive explosions at an air base in Crimea amid speculation they were the result of a Ukrainian attack that would represent a significant escalation in the war.
Russia denied any aircraft were damaged in Tuesday’s blasts — or that any attack took place.
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Ukrainian officials have stopped short of publicly claiming responsibility for the explosions, while poking fun at Russia’s explanation that munitions at the Saki air base caught fire and blew up. Analysts have also said that explanation doesn’t make sense and that the Ukrainians could have used anti-ship missiles to strike the base.
While dodging credit, several Ukrainian officials have pointedly underscored the importance of the peninsula, which Moscow annexed eight years ago.
Crimea holds huge strategic and symbolic significance for both Ukraine and Russia — further emphasized by how both danced around what actually happened. The Kremlin’s demand that Ukraine recognize Crimea as part of Russia has been one of its key conditions for ending the hostilities, but Ukraine has vowed to drive the Russians from the peninsula and all other occupied territories.
Hours after the blast, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy promised again to do just that.
“This Russian war against Ukraine and against all of free Europe began with Crimea and must end with Crimea — its liberation,” he said in his nightly address.
The explosions, which killed one person and wounded 14, sent tourists fleeing in panic as plumes of smoke towered over the nearby coastline. Video showed shattered windows and holes in the brick work of some buildings.
Crimea’s regional leader, Sergei Aksyonov, said some 250 residents were moved to temporary housing after dozens of apartment buildings were damaged.
But Russian authorities sought to downplay the explosions on Wednesday, saying all hotels and beaches were unaffected on the peninsula, which is a popular tourist destination for many Russians.
President Vladimir Putin has long insisted Crimea is Russian and warned that any attempts to take it back would trigger massive retaliation. Moscow’s apparent swallowing of the strike showed Putin’s weakness, said Ukrainian military analyst Oleh Zhdanov.
“He’s expected to protect Crimea as Russia proper,” said Zhdanov. “Now he’s afraid to recognize that it was done by the Ukrainian armed forces.”
Russian warplanes have used Saki to strike areas in Ukraine’s south, and social networks were abuzz with speculation that Kyiv fired missiles at the base.
A Ukrainian presidential adviser, Oleksiy Arestovych, who is more outspoken than other officials, cryptically said Tuesday that the blasts were caused either by a Ukrainian-made long-range weapon or were the work of guerrillas operating in Crimea.
The base on the Black Sea peninsula, which dangles off southern Ukraine, is some 125 miles away from the closest Ukrainian position — out of the range of the missiles supplied by the U.S. for use in the HIMARS systems.
The Ukrainian military has successfully used those missiles, with a range of 50 miles, to target ammunition and fuel depots, strategic bridges and other key targets in Russia-occupied territories.
HIMARS could also fire longer-range rockets, with a range of about 185 miles — and Ukraine has repeatedly pleaded for such weapons.
U.S. authorities have refrained from providing them thus far, fearing that it could provoke Russia and widen the conflict. The explosions raised speculation on social media that Ukraine might have finally gotten the weapons.
The Washington-based Institute for the Study of War said it couldn’t independently assess what caused the explosions, but noted that simultaneous explosions in two places at the base likely ruled out an accidental fire — but not the possibility of sabotage or a missile attack.
But, it added, “the Kremlin has little incentive to accuse Ukraine of conducting strikes that caused the damage since such strikes would demonstrate the ineffectiveness of Russian air defense systems.”
If the Ukrainian forces were, in fact, responsible for the blasts, it would be the first known major attack on a Russian military site in Crimea. A smaller explosion last month at the headquarters of Russia’s Black Sea Fleet in the Crimean port of Sevastopol was blamed on Ukrainian saboteurs using a makeshift drone.
As temperatures rise, the sand is hotter than normal, which is causing turtle eggs in Florida to only hatch as females.
The extreme heat in Florida is causing a crisis in the sea turtle population.
Unlike humans, sea turtles do not have chromosomes. When the female turtle deposits her eggs in the sand, the embryo is not sexed. The temperature of the sand determines the gender of a sea turtle.
Research from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows turtle eggs incubated below 82 degrees Fahrenheit are hatched as males. If turtle eggs incubate about 89 degrees Fahrenheit they will hatch as females.
In the past four years, virtually every turtle on the Florida beaches has been born female. As temperatures rise, the sand is hotter than normal, which is causing turtle eggs to incubate above 89 degrees Fahrenheit.
Chinese tourists are showing up to beaches across from Taiwan to watch Chinese military drills, which are getting more serious.
China’s live-fire military drills are now in full force around Taiwan, and there are signs they’re escalating.
On Friday, Beijing sent more warships and aircraft into waters and airspace near Taiwan.
According to China’s Xinhua news agency, more than 100 planes and 10 vessels have participated in exercises so far.
It’s a major flex of military muscle in the face of international criticism.
“I think that that they made a big fuss because I’m speaker, I guess,” said House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi.
All of it is sparked by U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s trip this week to Taiwan. It’s the highest ranking U.S. official to visit in 25 years.
“The fact is, the speaker’s visit was peaceful. There is no justification for this extreme, disproportionate and escalatory military response,” said Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State.
Earlier this week, China’s military laid out exactly where these drills would take place.
Several swaths of sea, encroached areas that Taiwan has marked as its territory.
Those claims are not recognized by China, which claims sovereignty over Taiwan.
This confident display of defiance from Beijing is stoking worldwide fears of an imminent military confrontation.
But on the Chinese mainland, citizens appear to be encouraging the aggression. Tourists are flocking to the coast, hoping to catch a glimpse of the exercises.
“People got emotional at the beginning because Nancy Pelosi was allowed to visit Taiwan just like that. However, later we crossed the so-call middle line of the Taiwan Strait with military exercises and yesterday our missiles flew over Taiwan, which made us feel our motherland is very powerful and gave us confidence that the return of Taiwan is the irresistible trend,” said Wang Lu, a tourist from Zhejiang.
In the meantime, Beijing is retaliating against the United States.
Beijing says it’s halting cooperation on issues ranging from climate change and cracking down on international crime.
But so far, economic and trade talks are still intact as China looks to President Joe Biden to lift tariffs on Chinese imports imposed by Donald Trump.
Chinese officials also announced unspecified sanctions against speaker Pelosi and her family.
“They may try to keep Taiwan from visiting or participating in other places, but they will not isolate Taiwan by preventing us to travel there,” Pelosi said.
Outer Banks Brewing Station is taking a tip from the Wright brothers and the winds they used to power the world’s first plane.
Kill Devil Hills sits on North Carolina’s outer banks. The island has constant strong winds, which is why Orville and Wilbur Wright traveled from Ohio to the small town to test and eventually fly the world’s first airplane.
Just four blocks from that historic site is the Outer Banks Brewing Station.
Eric Reece and his business partner own it. It’s one of the largest breweries in the area. He’s proud of his homemade beer.
He’s also just as proud of his 10 kilowatt wind turbine that helps power the brewery.
“This place sucks down a lot of power,” Reece said. “Every time the wind blows, we start drawing that power.”
It’s been one of his long-term plans since he opened the brewery more than 20 years ago. At first, local politicians were hesitant, so Reece educated them about beer and wind turbines.
“At the end of the day, we need alternative energy sources,” he said.
Opponents didn’t think the wind was strong enough for it to create power.
That’s when he reminded everyone about the Wright brothers and the winds they used to power the world’s first plane.
Once the turbine went up, it became a big tourist attraction. Not as big as the Wright brothers’ memorial or the beaches, but it drew a crowd.
“The school started bringing busloads of kids,” Reece said. “People started parking in the parking lot when we were closed just to hear it.”
Despite North Carolina’s strong winds, there’s only one commercial wind project in the state.
Reece’s private turbine provides about 10% of the power he needs to brew beer. But it’s making a bigger impact educating neighbors, politicians and tourists on the power of the wind.
ODESSA, Ukraine—Sparks fly day and night at the rail yard of Odessa’s tram authority, where men in coveralls are slicing up old steel rails and welding them into barricades called “hedgehogs” to stop Russian tanks.
Not far away, the area around the city’s elegant baroque opera house looks like a set from a World War II movie, with chest-high stacks of sandbags and troops in green uniforms. And a food market downtown popular with hipsters has been turned into a warehouse for a range of provisions — food, clothing and medicine for the troops.
A major attack on Odessa, which as Ukraine’s biggest port city is crucial for the country’s economic survival, feels like an inevitability, officials and residents say.
Russian naval ships have gathered just outside Ukraine’s territorial waters in the Black Sea, and Russian troops are pushing ever closer from the east. On Wednesday, the city’s mayor, Gennady Trukhanov was inspecting a bomb shelter at an orphanage when he received a call that a Russian jet, likely having flown in from the Crimean Peninsula, had fired a rocket at a military installation just outside town.
“Do you have your diaper on?” the mayor asked the person he was speaking with, laughing. “Don’t be a hero, there will be time for that later,” he said.
“I think they’re testing our antiaircraft systems,” Mr. Trukhanov said when he hung up the phone. “He flies in, we open fire, he flies away and almost immediately they fire a rocket.”
For the first several days of the invasion, Russia primarily concentrated its military forces on Kyiv, in the north, and Ukraine’s second-largest city, Kharkiv, in the northeast. But a concerted and in many ways more successful campaign is being waged in Ukraine’s south, along the coasts of the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, a small, important body of water where Russia seeks full control.
As of Wednesday, Russian forces had captured the strategically important city of Kherson at the mouth of the Dnieper River, the first major city to come under Russian control. The fate of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov,an inland body of water that Russia and Ukraine share, also hung in the balance as Russian naval forces gathered in an apparent effort to mount an amphibious attack.
The carnage in Kherson was particularly extreme: Volunteers had been dispatched to gather up bodies, many of them unidentifiable because of tank and artillery fire, and bury them in mass graves, the city’s mayor, Igor Kolykhaev, said in an interview on Wednesday.
“They’ve fully come into the city,” Mr. Kolykhaev said, adding that he met with the Russian commander, who said he intended to put in place a military administration.
Kherson, with a population of around 300,000, is just over 120 miles from Odessa, and Russian troops have already pushed beyond it to Mykolaiv, about 45 miles to the north, Ukrainian officials said.
But it is Odessa that would be the real prize. Founded by Catherine the Great in the late 1700s, the city was a crown jewel of the Russian Empire and a critical commercial port for the Soviet Union. Though not as militarily significant as the Crimean Peninsula, which Russia annexed in 2014, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia has spoken wistfully about the reconstitution of imperial-era New Russia, a region along the Black Sea centered on Odessa.
Like the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk, Odessa was the site of a separatist uprising backed by Russia in 2014 that sought to create an independent state. But the effort was crushed after a series of pitched street battles pitting the separatists against Ukrainian nationalists and soccer hooligans, which culminated in the torching of a trade union building on the outskirts of Odessa. At least 40 pro-Russian activists were killed.
Days before the invasion started last week, Mr. Putin issued a threat against those who started the fire, suggesting that Odessa was on his mind.
“The criminals who committed this evil act have not been punished,” he said. “No one is looking for them, but we know them by name.”
Mr. Trukhanov, the Odessa mayor, backed by assessments from Ukraine’s military, said Russia’s goal was likely to surround Odessa with land and naval forces, cutting off Ukraine’s access to the Black Sea, which is the country’s primary link to the global economy.
Surrounding Odessa, he said, “will put an end to cargo shipments, an end to the economy and the end of development.”
He added, “But we’re not talking about that often, because the priority is survival.”
Odessa has undergone a profound and disturbing transformation since Russia invaded. Just over a week ago, the city was experiencing an unusual early warm snap that drove people outside, to the city’s cobblestone streets and beaches. Crowds flocked to the opera house, flamboyantly renovated with polished marble and 25 pounds of gold leaf, to see a performance of Madama Butterfly.
Now the entire, historic center around the opera is sealed off by sandbags, barbed wire and troops armed with automatic weapons.
“I can’t believe that a week ago I was a lawyer,” said Inga Kordynovska. She said he had been planning to compete in an international ballroom dancing competition, but was now coordinating the collection of food, clothing and medicine for Odessa’s territorial defense troops.
“One day, I had heels and makeup; I was going to ballroom dancing,” she said “And now everything has changed.”
The entrance to the Odessa Food Market has been draped with a large Red Cross banner and fortified with sandbags. Before the war, people used to eat Chinese street food and sip craft IPAs; now men in beanie hats and neck tattoos are stacking bottles of water and sorting bags of clothing.
Though the mission is to gather supplies for the city’s defenders, none of the combatants are allowed to enter the hall, said Nikolai Viknianskyi, who owns a furniture company and is now volunteering at the site.
“We’ve banned people with weapons from coming here so as not to attract other people with weapons,” Mr. Viknianskyi. “We don’t want for our hipsters or our fashionable youth to be hurt. They’re not military people, they don’t know how to fight.”
The fight may come anyway. As if to underscore the threat, Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenksy, replaced the Odessa region’s civilian governor with a colonel from Ukraine’s armed forces. On Wednesday, Ukraine’s Navy accused Russian forces in the Black Sea of attempting to enter Ukraine’s territorial waters using civilian boats as a “human shield.”
Though Odessa has not experienced the intense shelling of other cities like Kyiv and Kharkiv, there have been sporadic rocket attacks. It was unclear if Wednesday’s hostilities caused any injuries, but one person was killed on Tuesday in an attack on a military radar installation, Mr. Trukhanov, the Odessa mayor, said.
Also on Tuesday, an explosion ripped through the small village of Dachne, north of Odessa just off the highway to Kyiv. Several houses along a potholed street were reduced to rubble, and power line poles and trees were snapped at their bases.
A 60-year-old resident named Yuri said workers had extracted an undetonated shell from his front yard, which destroyed a brand-new Volkswagen his children had given him for his birthday. It was not clear whether the shell was fired by Russian forces or if Ukrainian troops mistakenly hit the village.
All this has rattled the residents of Odessa. At an orphanage visited by Mr. Trukhanov on Wednesday, tiny jackets had been arranged on a table to be ready in case the children have to make a dash to the bomb shelter in the basement.
After lunch time, a group of the youngest was tucked into their beds for nap time, while their caretaker stood over them, playing a lullaby on her phone, and silently crying.
“God,” she said, addressing the mayor, “everything is going to be OK, right?”
The authorities closed several beaches in Peru on Sunday and warned about abnormal wave activity.
The deaths in Peru were reminiscent of the aftermath of the powerful tsunami set off by an undersea earthquake off Indonesia in December 2004 which killed more than 250,000 people. A dozen of the dead then were hit by waves on the eastern coast of Africa, in Kenya and Tanzania.
In Tonga on Sunday, many residents lost not only communication ties but power. Up to 80,000 people there could be affected, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies told the BBC.
One immediate need was clear: potable water.
“The ash cloud has, as you can imagine, caused contamination,” said Ms. Ardern, the New Zealand prime minister. “That’s on top of already a challenging environment, in terms of water supply.”
New Zealand and other nations in the region pledged to give Tonga aid to recover. So did the United States. But with heavy concentrations of airborne ash making flights impossible, it was difficult even to know what was needed.
Ms. Ardern said flights over Tonga were planned for Monday or Tuesday, depending on ash conditions. New Zealand’s navy was also preparing a backup plan, should the ash remain heavy, she said.
In a post on Twitter, Antony J. Blinken, the American secretary of state, offered his condolences: “Deeply concerned for the people of Tonga as they recover from the aftermath of a volcanic eruption and tsunami. The United States stands prepared to provide support to our Pacific neighbors.”
Tonga has experienced a succession of natural disasters in recent years. In 2018, more than 170 homes were destroyed and two people killed by Cyclone Gita, a Category 5 tropical storm. In 2020, Cyclone Harold caused about $111 million in damage, including extensive flooding.