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Tearfund Calls On Kiwis To Respond In Wake Of Tonga Volcanic Eruption And Tsunami

Tearfund’s CEO Ian McInnes says the effects of the violent undersea volcano and resulting tsunami in Tonga are alarming.

“The main concerns for the Tongan community will be the lack of access to safe drinking water and the damages to crops.

“Because much of Tonga is only metres above sea level, the tsunami would have flooded water points which communities depend on for water, making it undrinkable,” says McInnes.

Over 80% of households in Tonga grow crops to meet their daily needs.

“Thousands of families in Tonga rely on their crops for survival and income. If those crops have been damaged by the tsunami or ash, people will go hungry. Tearfund will be responding immediately to these crucial needs,” says McInnes.

In the coming days the Kiwi aid and development organisation will be connecting and working with their local partners and extensive network in Tonga to plan the best possible response to support the most vulnerable in need.

“Communications are still down, so it’s difficult to know the true extent of the damage until we get an accurate report from the ground”, says McInnes.

“It’s hard to even imagine what the people in Tonga are going through right now. Cyclones and extreme weather are very common on the Islands, but this has sent shock waves across the whole Pacific Island community, including those living in New Zealand. If Kiwis can respond financially, we’d be so grateful. It’s important we look out for our Pacific neighbours,” says McInnes.

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