All members and missionaries of The Church have been contacted and all are safe. President Sitiveni Fehoko, of the Tonga Outer Islands Mission, is continuing his visits to the outer islands of the Ha’apai group to assess needs and offer love and support.
Liahona High school is still being used by members and friends of the Church for emergency accommodation. On Wednesday night 317 people stayed at the school, down from a high of 1,250 people after the disaster.
Limited communication (G2) has been restored. Voice contact remains difficult and data transmission is weak at best.
Forty percent of the government supplied tap water is not potable, so other sources are being used. The outer islands of Lulunga and Ha’apai need water and food. Church leaders have hired a half share of a sizeable boat to take water from the tanks at Liahona High School, food and other items to these islands on Saturday, weather permitting. The outer Islands are entirely dependent on rainwater collected in tanks and that has been contaminated so urgent action is needed. It is understood that there is sufficient water for the people on Tongatapu as a water purification unit from New Zealand will cater to the immediate needs, and there is also bore water.
“We are calmly, yet with urgency, working through different options to quickly get needed water and other needs into Tonga,” Elder Ian S. Ardern said on Thursday evening. “The food and other supplies for the outer islands will come from the local members…it is the Tongan way.”
Church leaders continue to coordinate assessments and aid delivery with governments and other organisations.
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