Latest update: Tonga Emergency

Since our emergency appeal went live on Monday, more pictures and reports have emerged which are beginning to show the extent of damage caused by Saturday’s volcanic eruption in Tonga. The scale of the disaster is shocking, but we are proud to share that Act for Peace supporters have already given over $94,000 to the relief effort – thank you!

Children from Kapa Government Primary School on Kapa island which is part of the Vava’u island group in Tonga. Richard Wainwright / Act for Peace

Volcanic ash has been falling over the islands, making clean drinking water and food an urgent priority. And satellite and aerial photography show island communities completely decimated by the tsunami; temporary shelter and psychological support are desperately needed.

Since the explosion, communications have largely been down, making it difficult to measure the true scale of the disaster. But yesterday, we were able to briefly reach our local partner, the Tonga National Council of Churches (TNCC) via a UN satellite phone, before it cut out after 6 minutes.

Thankfully, all TNCC staff are OK but there are two officers in the outer islands they haven’t been able to reach yet: on Ha’apai and Vavau.

TNCC is coordinating their emergency response with other organisations on the ground, and in the coming weeks, Act for Peace will work closely with them to respond to people’s immediate needs. This may include supplying drinking water and non-food items such as tarpaulins and seeds to replant crops.

Act for Peace has been working in partnership with The Tonga National Council of Churches (TNCC) on a Disaster Risk Reduction project to create safer, more resilient Pacific island communities to natural disasters. They teach communities what to do before, during and after a disaster through training and implementing projects such as reinforcing evacuation centres and supplying water storage tanks. Richard Wainwright / Act for Peace

It’s critical that we respond as quickly as possible.

If you haven’t had the chance to make a gift yet, will you please give now to help support communities in Tonga?

Example contents of a 72-hour emergency bag. Richard Wainwright / Act for Peace

We will continue to keep you updated as we receive more information from our local partner on the ground.

The entire team would like to take this opportunity to thank you again for your generous support and to ask you to keep the people of Tonga in your thoughts.

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