Royal Sunset Island Resort at 'Atata Island, pictured in 2012.
Atatā is located near the north west coast of Tongatapu, the main island of Tonga.

Atatā is an island in Tonga, near the capital city Nukuʻalofa.[1] The island was completely evacuated after the 2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami. Before the eruption, the island's population was 106.[2]


The island was partially submerged in the 2022 Hunga Tonga–Hunga Ha'apai eruption and tsunami.[3] Images from the New Zealand Defence Force showed the island suffered "catastrophic" damage with trees uprooted and a large number of buildings missing.[4] The aerial footage appeared to show the island "wiped out" by the disaster.[5] The only building that survived was reportedly the island’s Mormon church, which was used by villagers for shelter.[6] One local, Lisala Folau, survived 27 hours at sea by holding onto a floating log.[7]

The island was completely evacuated following the eruption and its population transferred to Tongatapu.[8]


  1. ^ "Live: Ardern to give update on 'hugely concerning' situation in Tonga". 1 News. 16 January 2022. Archived from the original on 16 January 2022. Retrieved 16 January 2022.
  2. ^ "PRELIMINARY RESULT TONGA POPULATION CENSUS 2021" (PDF). Tonga Statistics Department. 24 December 2021. p. 3. Retrieved 17 January 2022.
  3. ^ Staff, Kaniva (2022-01-16). "Tongans sharing pain of relatives in kingdom as they wait for news in aftermath of devastating volcanic eruption". Kaniva Tonga | Largest NZ-based Tongan news service. Retrieved 2022-01-16.
  4. ^ "Leaked New Zealand military photos show scale of damage caused by Tonga volcano eruption". Guardian. 18 January 2022. Retrieved 18 January 2022.
  5. ^ "Tonga eruption, tsunami: Images appear to show most of Atatā island wiped out". RNZ. 2022-01-19. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  6. ^ "Tonga volcano: Biblical disaster shakes most Mormon nation in the world". BBC News. 2022-01-20. Retrieved 2022-01-20.
  7. ^ "Tonga: Survivor tells of sea escape from tsunami-struck island". BBC News. 2022-01-21. Retrieved 2022-01-22.
  8. ^ Barbara Dreaver (21 August 2022). "Tonga's Atata Island refugees struggle in wake of tsunami". 1News. Retrieved 21 August 2022.

Coordinates: 21°03′00″S 175°15′04″W / 21.050°S 175.251°W / -21.050; -175.251

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