Plastic water tank bursts flooding a house in Niuatoputapu

A water tank with a capacity of about 5,000 litres exploded causing destruction to a residence at Tonga’s Niuatoputapu island.

The tenant Taisa Havea Mikaele said she heard a loud bang. She compared it to a tsunami before she found out it was the explosion which came from the tank outside her house.

The water poured out and flooded the house, she told Kaniva News.

No one was injured in the incident.

The cause of the explosion was unknown.

The water tank resembled hundreds of tanks which had been widely distributed by the Tongan government as gifts to vulnerable homeowners throughout the kingdom.

A hundred of those water tanks were handed over by the Chinese Embassy to the Tonga Government at an official ceremony at Fa’onelua Convention Centre in 2020.

A Tongan company known as M & J Water Tank was assisted by the Chinese Embassy in producing 500 tanks in 2021.

The Ministry of Meteorology, Energy, Information, Disaster Management, Environment, Climate Change and Communications (MEIDECC) said at the time it was expected to supply 1500 tanks to locals.

The Ministry’s water tank project led to the dismissal of the then Minister of MEIDECC Poasi Tei after a Court of Appeal upheld his conviction by the Supreme Court.

Tei was found guilty of bribery during his campaign for Tonga’s 2021 general election. His conviction stemmed from 20 plastic water tanks given to electors in the village of Houma to influence each of them to vote for him.

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