Two Mexicans were trapped in Tonga after last weekend’s underwater volcanic eruption, so their relatives ask the government for help to get them out of the area, in one of the first testimonies of foreigners stranded on the island.
Leslie Nava, 34, and David Olaf Santillán, 31, are biologists and professional divers who were dedicated to maintaining corals and marine life in Tonga. The two have lived on the island for almost two years and are biologists graduated from the prestigious National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
They were able to communicate with his family last Saturday night, after the volcano erupted. Nava was able to speak to her mother on a satellite phone provided by the British embassy.
“(He said) that they were sheltered in a hotel near the airport and that we please support them so that they could leave the island,” the sister told AFP in Mexico.
“We ask for the very specific support of Marcelo Ebrard (Mexican Foreign Minister) and the Mexican government to help us repatriate our relatives,” he added.
The family has been in contact with the Mexican embassy in New Zealand as there is no Mexican embassy in Tonga.
However, diplomatic staff have been unable to establish contact with the two divers following the volcano eruption and tsunami.
“He has not been able to reestablish communication with my sister and with David, apparently they continue, I don’t know, without electricity or only without internet, but there is no communication with them,” he said.
The woman also said that her sister and David had already tried to leave the country but that the restrictions due to covid-19 had prevented them.
“A year or so ago they tried to leave the island, however at some point the airport was closed and flights were restricted,” he explained.
The Mexican Foreign Ministry has not yet ruled on the two Mexicans stranded in Tonga.
The submarine volcanic eruption in the Pacific unleashed panic on Saturday in the islands of the kingdom of Tonga, with a tsunami that caused waves of 1.20 meters in the capital Nuku’alofa, as well as in Japan, but also generated alerts in various nations. over that ocean, such as Australia, New Zealand, on the west coast of the United States, in Chile and Ecuador, among others.