Japanese planes fly aid to Tonga after volcanic blast

Four Japanese aircraft left Australia on Monday to deliver more vital aid to Tonga as the Pacific nation deals with the aftermath of a volcanic eruption and tsunami. The two Japanese Lockheed C-130 Hercules and two Kawasaki C-2 left the Royal Australian Air Force Base at Amberley in Queensland state to make the 3,300-kilometer (2,050-mile) journey east to the islands that were devastated by the Jan. 15 twin disasters, the Australian Defense Department said in a statement.

“Australia proudly joins Japan and other Pacific Island countries working alongside the people of Tonga,” the statement said. Aid flights from Australia, Japan and New Zealand also carried food, water, medical supplies and telecommunications equipment to Tonga over the weekend.