“The volcanic ash has settled into every crevice our lives and we still sleep in fear of another eruption. Yet through the ash, panic and chaos, I saw hope.”
That was the testimony of Hon. Frederica Tuita, who described how many Tongans sought refuge at the Royal villa, the highest point close to the Nuku’alofa town centre, during the eruption of the Hunga-Ha'apai-Hunga-Tonga volcano on Saturday, 15 January.
“While I was sitting in the villa dining room I looked outside and saw it, through the dark was a stream of vehicles coming up the villa driveway. Their Majesties had kept the gates open for anyone seeking refuge from the tsunami . . .