Cyclone Gita hits Tonga: How can we help?
Early this morning (Tuesday), Tongatapu was hit by the fierce Cyclone Gita, a category 4 storm. Many buildings have been damaged, including Parliament House, and several villages have been evacuated due to risk of flooding. Unicef reported that around 80,000 people are at risk from the storm. Thankfully, there has been no confirmed fatalities.
The cyclone is now headed toward Fiji, but the main islands won't be affected.
New Zealand government has donated $750,000 to help aid agencies and relief efforts on the ground, and remains on standby to help where necessary.
We are keeping Tonga in our thoughts and hearts this week. We can only imagine how devastating the effects of Cyclone Gita must be, for those witnessing it first hand, and for those watching anxiously from overseas.
In light of the damage caused by Cyclone Gita, we've put together a list of ways in which you can help those affected.
Tearfund has advised that donations of money are more beneficial than donations of clothing, blankets, and food. Donating money means that the aid agencies already on the ground in Tonga, who are aware of what the communities need, are able to access the items quickly.
If you wish to help:
- Habitat for Humanity are preparing a response for Tonga. You can donate to their emergency fund here.
- Oxfam, whose disaster relief work in the Pacific provides clean water, sanitation and emergency food, has opened an emergency appeal for Tonga. You can donate here.
- The Salvation Army are currently housing at least 11 Tongan families. Keep updated here, or on their Facebook page for ways to help.
- NZ Red Cross has set up a Pacific disaster relief fund. You can donate here.
It's important that we show support, solidarity, and love to the people of Tonga during this crisis. We're stoked to see so many agencies, government, expats and friends, pitching in to get through this together. We have faith in the incredible resilience of the people of Tonga, and we know they'll emerge stronger.
Keep updated on Cyclone Gita here.