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Anglican Diocese of Polynesia launches emergency appeal for people of Tonga

Posted on: January 19, 2022 4:55 PM
People clean debris following volcanic eruption and tsunami, in Nuku'alofa, Tonga January 18, 2022 in this picture obtained from social media on January 19, 2022
Photo Credit: Marian Kupu/Broadcom Broadcasting FM87.5/via REUTERS

The Anglican Diocese of Polynesia and Anglican Missions have launched an appeal for the people of Tonga after volcanic eruption. 

The Anglican Diocese of Polynesia and Anglican Missions have launched an emergency appeal for the people of Tonga after a volcanic eruption caused widespread damage on 15 January. The Hunga Tonga – Hunga Ha’apai Volcano erupted in the sea, 65km from Tonga’s capital Nuku’alofa, generating a 19.2km high, 5km wide ash plume, and triggering tsunami waves. 

Initial reports on social media showed metre-high surges inundating coastal areas of Nuku’alofa and aerial and satellite images have shown the capital is blanketed in ash. The Tongan Navy has reported major damage on the islands of Mango and Fonoi, where waves were estimated to be 5 to 10 metres in height, reaching 500 metres inland and causing significant damage. 

Pending assessments, damage in the northern isolated islands will also likely include contaminated water and food supplies because of ashfall as well as major damage to buildings and crops. 

Anglican Missions is working closely with the Diocese of Polynesia and a network of New Zealand agencies responding to this event in Tonga, as well as maintaining links with the official New Zealand government response. 

The Diocese of Polynesia are asking churches to channel their support by raising and donating money. Funds sent through to the Diocese will initially be used to replenish relief supplies already located at four Anglican churches in Nuku’alofa. Further funds will then be deployed according to an assessment of needs. 

Donations can be made via the Anglican Missions website