Many North Texans with ties to Tonga were left in doubt after a volcanic eruption in January displaced more Than 2,300 people.
The underwater eruption at the Hunga TongaHunga Haapai volcano It triggered an explosion that led to a major panic. tsunami warnings In Japan and Hawaii. According to a, the official death toll from the eruption was four. February situation reportFrom the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
Internet communication to the country was established More than one monthMany people in North Texas were worried about their loved ones’ safety because of the eruption.
EarthX, an environmental nonprofit based in Dallas, will launch #TongaStrong as part of its annual Expo this year. This campaign will raise funds for relief efforts for the Island nation. The campaign will be launched by the nonprofit in partnership with Moana Pasifika (a professional rugby team the organization sponsors).
Viliami Asaeli is a 46-year old Euless resident who said his relatives who live on Tonga were safe but also noted that many other people were not as lucky. More than 460 households were evacuatedThe U.N. reported February on the tsunami that followed the eruption.
He said that there are still families affected by the tsunami, and that help is slow.
Asaeli explained that they are hoping that the expo will generate some income to build homes for those who are most affected.
According to a Wednesday press release, money raised through the campaign will go towards Habitat for Humanity New Zealand. Habitat for Humanity New Zealand has been working closely with partners in Tonga.
Viliami Vainga Tone, representative from Tonga to United Nations, will be the keynote speaker at the expos Island resilience summit on Friday Earth Day at Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, downtown Dallas. The expo will feature guest speakers panels and activities to increase awareness about clean energy, and the environment. The public is welcome from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Matt Tranchin (senior vice president of impact at the nonprofit), stated that we wanted to find a moment when people would notice the Tongan volcano eruption.
The summit will also feature 40 students from Euless Trinity High School with Tongan heritage, some of which will perform Sipi Tau (a Tongan war dance) as part of the event.
The summit, which will mark a start to the campaign, will be streamed live online. If you would like to attend the summit in-person, please donate. www.tongastrong.orgAccording to the environmental nonprofit.
The campaign will come to an end on May 28, the last game for the rugby team sponsored through Tranchin.
Tone visited Euless Wednesday for a welcome event in North Texas with the Tongan community. The Euless Tongan Community committee organized the event. It estimates that over 6,000 people in Euless are Tongan. Euless is located approximately 20 miles northwest Dallas.
Ofa Faiva – Siale, a member of the community committee, said that two of her cousins were displaced by the tsunami caused by the January volcanic eruption.
She said that several churches in North Texas partnered with the Tongan community in order to send supplies to the island country.
Faiva-Siale stated that Tongans have suffered, but people are still holding on to their faith and keeping their spirits high.
She said that they had to make do with what they had, and live in communal areas and facilities. People are used to this kind of lifestyle.