On 15 January the underwater Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted (photo: Tonga Meterological Services) which led to significant ash falls across Tonga and triggered tsunami waves. The eruption generated an ash plume 19.2 km high. While electricity and mobile phone networks have been re-established on the main island of Tongatapu, communications with the outer islands are intermittent. The Tongan Navy has reported major damage in the Ha’apai Islands. Waves were estimated to be 5-10 metres in height and reach 500 metres inland. The needs on the ground will be significant, especially in the northern more isolated islands. Pending assessments, the damage could include contaminated water and food supplies as a result of ashfall and damage due to inundation.
Anglican Missions is working with the Anglican Diocese of Polynesia to respond to this event. In light of the severity of this event and the likelihood of significant expected needs, we have decided to launch an Emergency Appeal. Initial funding will be to replenish prepositioned relief supplies that are already located at four Anglican churches in Nuku’alofa. This is especially important given that we are in the middle of the annual cyclone season.
A further response and recovery project will be based on needs assessments from the communities in Tonga.
Donations to this Appeal can be made through our website here.
A poster to download is available here.
We will continue to work with other church-based agencies.
The Anglican Diocese of Polynesia is encouraging people to donate money rather than goods. Please see the link here on the importance of not sending goods straight after a disaster: https://donateresponsibly.org/pasifika
Other useful informative resources on how to donate responsibly and effectively -
- Tongan factsheet
- Other Pacific language factsheets – Cook Island Maori, Samoa, Fiji, Bislama (Vanuatu), Tuvalu, Kiribati.
An information video on donating responsibly is available here.