Tonga is still reeling from the impacts of a violent underwater volcano eruption on 15 January that triggered tsunamis, destroyed telecommunications and blanketed the Pacific island nation in ash.
- 85,000 people - up to 84% of the total population - have been affected by the eruption, tsunami and associated volcanic ash (IFRC).
- Many communities are now forced to buy bottled water as their only water sources have been contaminated.
- Another potential crisis looms as the country deals with a steep rise in plastic waste after huge quantities were brought in as part of the humanitarian response.
Your urgent support is needed today to help communities affected by this disaster.
The volcano eruption and tsunami affected 84 per cent of Tonga's population. Many homes in coastal areas were inundated with seawater and some small islands were completely flooded. Telecommunications were completely cut off for more than one month
The people of Tonga are in need of:
- Clean drinking water
- Shelter for families who lost their homes
- Psychosocial support for people who were evacuated
- Food support for communities whose soil and crops were contaminated by saltwater and toxic ashes.
Caritas Australia is working in partnership with Caritas Aotearoa New Zealand and Caritas Tonga to respond. Caritas Tonga is also working with the National Emergency Management Office (NEMO) and Tongan National Youth Council to distribute stock.
Give what you can today to help communities get the emergency support that they need to recover from natural disasters and crisis.
The largest recorded explosion since 1883
The violent eruption sent ash, steam and gas up to 20kms into the air and triggered a tsunami measuring up to 1.5m. The tsunami flooded Tongan coastal roads and properties and also impacted Samoa, Fiji, New Zealand and Australia. It has since been confirmed that it is the world's largest explosion recorded since 1883, dwarfing even nuclear blasts.
The west coast of Tongatapu, the Ha’apai island group and the west coast of ‘Eua sustained significant infrastructural damage and an estimated one inch of ash covered the major populated islands of Tonga, with four to six inches reported in some areas. Many homes in coastal areas were also inundated with seawater and some small islands in the Ha’apai group were completely flooded.
How will my donation support communities?
Improve access to clean water through the provision of water carrying containers and water tanks.
Enable training for community counsellors to support people who have been impacted and are recovering from disasters.
Replenish Caritas Tonga's emergency relief supplies so they can be distributed quickly and efficiently to people in need when disaster strikes.
With COVID-19 continuing to impact communities in Tonga, your donation can help to provide face masks, sanitiser, critical training and community awareness raising.
Where does my donation go?
The funds raised through this appeal will be used to provide immediate and longer-term humanitarian assistance to communities affected by natural disasters and crises in Tonga. Where this is not possible, the funds will be used to provide immediate and longer-term development and humanitarian assistance to communities affected by crises and poverty across the world. If any excess funds remain after a crisis, or if there are changes in circumstances beyond our control that limit our ability to use the funds, they are kept in the Emergency Response Appeal so that we can respond to ongoing development needs and future crises across all our regions.