WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (KUTV) — A Utah group has begun efforts to collect much-needed items emergency relief supplies for people in the nation of Tonga who have been reeling from widespread damage caused after the devastating volcano and Tsunami.
The volcano erupted under the ocean on January 15.
A charity called Honor 365 has been working to fill at least one shipping container with donations and ship it to Tonga. They’ve called the effort, “Operation Tonga.”
The organization’s executive director, Ninzel Rasmuson, said donations would be collected through Saturday, January 29.
Rasmuson said it will take 30 days for the shipping container to arrive in Tonga.
Ofa Matagi, a resident of West Valley City whose parents are from Tonga, said she her uncle is the minister for Trade and Economic Development, Samiu Faipulu. He was living on the main island.
Matagi said her uncle is okay and has been in contact with her mother, but her family worries for all the people of Tonga and their safety and livelihood, which has been put at risk by the disaster.
"A lot of their livelihood, their crops, are decimated by the ash fall. They don't have the ability to eat the food they've been able to harvest," she said.
Donors can find a list of donation supplies needed and other information at honor365.org.
Organization official have asked people to stick to the items on the list, which include unexpired canned goods, can openers, water, hand sanitizer, N95 or KN95 masks, cleaning supplies and first aid kits. All the items should be new.
Donation can be taken at the following on Friday and Saturday:
Salt Lake County