January 27, 2022

Further Update on Tonga Volcano

By Ken Pooley, ACBM National Secretary 

The following update on the recent volcanic eruption in Tonga was provided by the Asia-Pacific Christadelphian Bible Mission. Please keep our brothers and sisters in your prayers.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Below is a further update from Bro Alan Struckman, our Tonga Area contact, on the recent undersea volcanic eruption with tsunami significantly affecting the Kingdom of Tonga. Please continue to pray.

Low-capacity communication channels started operating again in Tonga on Saturday 22 January. We are very grateful for this, allowing us our first contact post the damaging volcanic eruption and tsunami.

Contact was made with a cheerful Bro Dicky. He confirmed that himself and family, Bro Ralph and interested friends on the mainland of Tongatapu, were all fine. They had either none or minimal damage to their properties. They had all taken the necessary precaution from the Government warnings.

Thankfully Bro Dicky had the foresight to cover his water tank to prevent any volcanic ash ingress, thus keeping his water supply uncontaminated and now made available to Bro Ralph and few others in need. He has also cleaned his roof of heavy volcanic ash residue, so fresh rains, post ash cloud, can start replenishing his water tank.

In general, most of the widespread damage on the mainland has been to water supply and surface crops due to the dense volcanic ash. They are still hopeful that root crops are little affected. A large-scale ash clean-up operation is underway in Tonga by all locals mostly utilising house and garden brooms.

One of the consolations of COVID is that face masks were on hand and in ready supply for all Tongans, thus providing some measure of relief from the fine volcanic ash.

Bro Dicky asked to extend thanks to all brothers and sisters for their prayers and care.

The mainland of Tongatapu received the bulk of the volcanic ash carried by prevailing southerly winds since it lies south of the erupted volcano. The island of Vava’u (home of Bro Manase, Sis Talitha and family) situated in the more distant north of the volcano, is reported in the media as receiving “a light dusting of ash from the volcano” and we understand less affected by the tsunami.

To date communication channels are still out of service to the island of Vava’u, so as yet unfortunately no contact has been made with Bro Manase Latu. Contact has been made with his wife, Sis Talitha, currently working in Australia. We are grateful that she has been receiving care from those of the Mildura Ecclesia. Sis Talitha is also still awaiting word about her family.

We give our Heavenly Father thanks for the news of the wellbeing of our brothers and interested friends on the mainland and desire His hand for their continued care and particularly the Latu family, at this time.

Considering the risk of flight with the presence of the volcanic ash cloud, we also give thanks for the rapid aid response of water and food supplies by the New Zealand and Australian governments. Measures are also being undertaken to provide water and food supplies directly to our Tongan brethren and families.

Ken Pooley
ACBM National Secretary 
Email: secretary@acbm.org.au 
Mobile: +61 421 357 392

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