Tongan families in Utah looking to help after devastating cyclone hits island nation
(KUTV) – Thousands of Tongan-American families in Utah are making contact with their loved ones in Tonga in the wake of a devastating cyclone earlier this week.
Tonga was put in a state of emergency before the storm hit.
“People were prepared for it, but Tonga is a third-world country and there’s only so much you can do to prepare,” Mike Tuiasoa of Salt Lake City told 2News.
Tuiasoa has friends and family in Tonga who reported they were safe but in need of supplies to help rebuild.
“They’ve told me that it is unlike anything they’ve ever seen before,” Tuiasoa said.
He started a Facebook group to coordinate people who may want to donate supplies that he intends to ship to Tonga.
“Unfortunately, when things like this have happened in the past in Tonga, funds have gone missing,” Tuiasoa said.
Another Facebook page, My Tongan – online community, is posting updates from Tonga after the storm.