Sat. May 28th, 2022

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The volcanic eruption and the subsequent tsunamis that hit Tonga have left Canberrans in limbo, waiting for calls from the family. Tonga’s capital, Nuku’alofa, has been covered in ash and hit by a tsunami that covered the Pacific Ocean after a monumental underwater volcano erupted 50 kilometers from the capital on Saturday night. Until Monday morning, Tonga was without power, while lines of communication in and out of the Pacific nation remained limited, leaving many of the 2,000 Tongan Canberra residents unable to get in touch with family on the island. Mother and Aunt Lupe Fisi’ikaile have been desperately trying to get in touch with her 72-year-old mother and her brother’s family, who live in Tonga, and said the anxiety is very high. “I did not want to tell it to my kids and niece at first, but I knew it would come with all the news. Their first question after I told them was ‘is Mama OK?’ and I had to tell them we do not know, “said Mrs Fisi’ikaile. “My mother was online last Saturday, but as soon as she went offline, we have not heard from since.” “The kids are worried, but I’m trying to keep it easy here because I’m a widow, we’ve had one of those obstacles, so I do not want the kids to have to relive losing someone again.” It has been difficult for Ms Fisi’ikaile to get information as she tried to contact the Australian Embassy in Tonga about security in her mother’s region, but she has not yet received a reply. “It’s just a waiting game. The only updates we can get are if someone has caught someone locally and they’ve posted an update, but that’s also one of the concerns because incorrect information is being posted online, which has started more anxiety. ” she said. “The only information I wanted the Australian embassy to give me was whether the waves reached my family home, which is close to town, but so far there is no answer.” “I know my neighbors in Tonga are okay and a friend from New Zealand said her parents are ok. They all have access to food and water so it gives me some comfort but it still does not really tell me that my mother’s okay. ” Chairman of the Tonga Association Sikahema Aholelei, whose own siblings are in Tonga, said that when communication between Tonga and Australia was improved, the community in Canberra would organize something. “The big problem was that communication had broken down between Tonga and everyone else in the world, which has made it inadequate for anything to happen or be organized in Canberra because we have no information,” Mr Aholelei said. “I think once communication is restored, I will be inundated with calls from family back in Tonga, and hopefully we can organize something accordingly.” “Because of the eruption, ash is being spread all over the country and most of the drinking water is being taken from the roof of the house to a tank, and no one can probably touch it at that time, so they are probably dependent on coconut trees and probably field supplies from local shops. ” READ MORE: Deputy Chief of Mission of the Tongan High Commission Curtis Tu’ihalangingie said they controlled anxious members of the community while working with the Australian Government to receive the necessary support. “One important thing to note is that Tonga is COVID-free and so far no one has died from the tsunami, so we do not want a COVID wave that could have major effects,” Mr Tu’ihalangingie said. “Australia and New Zealand have confirmed that they will ensure compliance with any COVID protocol from the Tongan Government.” Our journalists work hard to deliver local, up-to-date news to the local community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:


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