Families have prevented children from playing outside as Tonga struggles to deal with the ash and psychological effects of last week’s volcanic eruption and tsunami, aid workers and local residents said. Telephone service interrupted.
The Red Cross said it was providing 173 households on the main island of Tonga not only with tents, food, water and toilets but also comforts. “Right now everyone is still having issues,” said Drew Havea, vice president of the Tonga Red Cross.
Because of the ashes, “families make sure their kids aren’t playing outside, that everyone is inside,” he said.
Although some residents of the hardest-hit Ha’apai outlying islands had been evacuated to the main island of Tongatapu, others refused to go, Havea said. The psychological effects of waves breaking through and destroying villages will affect their lives for some time, he said. “All the kids grew up, they were taught in their geography class that this is the ring of fire we all live in.