SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — A Sacramento family has growing concerns about loved ones in Tonga impacted by the volcanic disaster.
Communication lines are still down and they have not been able to contact anyone to make sure they are safe.READ MORE: Stagg High Stabbing Suspect Anthony Gray Ordered To Undergo Mental Evaluation
Peni Tatafu was born in Tonga and worries about his family still left in the Pacific Island nation hit hard by a volcanic eruption.
“I believe they might have a hard time for a long time before they get back to a normal life,” Peni said.
His son, Asipeli, has a wife and one-year-old daughter in Tonga.
“I’m very concerned about them, especially not knowing what’s going on there,” Asipeli said.
The disaster was made worse by a lack of communication after the country’s main undersea phone and internet cable was destroyed in the explosion.
“Usually, I call them every night to see, check up on them,” Asipeli said.
But now, one week after the eruption, he’s still not able to make contact.
“I try every day. Every day when I come back home from work, I try and give them a call,” he said.READ MORE: Boosted Californians Getting COVID At Twice The Rate Of Those Vaccinated But Not Boosted
“For me, just seeing those pictures just hurt,” Peni.
Tepeti Tuipulotu has not been able to reach his parents or siblings.
“It’s been a week, I haven’t heard anything from them,” he said.
Many of their questions remain unanswered, and now their concern turns to the small country’s infrastructure collapsing.
“I know the volcano caused a lot of problems to the water,” said Tepeti.
“Also, the food in Tonga, they just raise their own crop and what has happened, it destroyed all of it,” Peni said.
As international aid begins to arrive, the hope is that their loved ones are safe and the islands start to rebuild.
“Right now, we’re just hoping for a fast recovery,” said Tepeti.MORE NEWS: Applications Now Open For $10K Grants For Sacramento Artists
The Tatafu family is also helping raise money locally to help in recovery efforts.