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'It’s something that most people will never experience in their life': Valley nonprofit working to help those impacted by Tonga tsunami

Selu Anau from the Island of Mango, one of Tonga's tiny islands, said the damage was vast. Now, the need for supplies is greater than ever.

PHOENIX — On Jan.15, an underwater volcanic eruption caused a tsunami to rage near the Island of Tonga causing widespread devastation. 

Selu Anau from the Island of Mango, one of Tonga's tiny islands, said the damage was vast. Now, the need for supplies is greater than ever, as they deal with the aftermath.

"When you see something as big as that volcano come out of the ocean and explode and cover the skies, it's dark, it's overwhelming, it’s something that most people will never experience in their life," Anau said. "The water came through and wiped out a lot of the homes offshore and the smaller islands there."

Satellite images show the aggressive eruption, a storm of ash and waves crashing into the coastline. Locals have shared ground footage of floodwaters rushing over rooftops and taking over structures. 

Anau and his Valley nonprofit called "Poly Praise" are planning to send all donations to the South Pacific to help those families impacted.

"We're pretty much a hub to really help the people back on our island, we are connected to Amazon so people can purchase things and send it straight, as far as water and basic necessities," he said. "Arizona state knows, that there is a small community of Tongans that has been blessed and we just want to give back to the community and at the same time, we're asking for help also."

Anau is grateful for Australia and New Zealand lending a hand but is hopeful the Valley can, too.

There are different ways to donate to the cause and survivors of the tsunami. To donate to Poly Praise, visit their website here. There is also a GoFundMe to help Tongan families. 

Other ways to donate include the Cash app at $Polypraiseaz, Zelle at Polypraiseaz@gmail.com and PayPal at Polypraiseaz. 

You can also keep up with the organization on social media: 

  • Instagram: Polypraiseaz
  • Facebook: Polypraiseaz

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