About the Emergency
On January 14, 2022, Tonga’s Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai volcano began erupting. Volcanic ash from the volcano reached up to 60,000 feet in elevation, producing fast-moving currents of hot gas, rock, and ashfall. A strong second eruption triggered tsunami waves up to 49 feet in some areas of Tonga. The eruptions and subsequent flooding have affected approximately 100,000 people—nearly the entire population of Tonga — and damaged or destroyed houses, public infrastructure, telecommunications systems, and water supplies.
USAID is working to address emergency needs and is providing safe drinking water and other critical relief supplies to help people affected by this disaster. USAID partners are also assisting Tongan authorities to respond to the eruption and tsunami through existing programs including distributing first-aid and hygiene kits and providing emergency telecommunications support. More information on the U.S. Government’s humanitarian activities in Tonga can be found here.
How You Can Help
Send cash donations to reputable relief organizations working on the ground. They can make the most difference and save the most lives. Detailed information on how relief organizations use donations can be found at: GiveWell, Charity Navigator, Charity Watch, and the Better Business Bureau. Below are organizations responding in Tonga.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, one in four Americans volunteered for an organization at least once during the course of a year. However, there are a few things that would-be disaster volunteers should stop and consider before getting on a plane.
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