Tongans on the ground are doing what they can to help one another in the wake of the volcano disaster.

Director of Tonga’s Women and Children’s Crisis Centre Ofa Guttenbeil-Likiliki said the country has avoided a “bigger chaos” by keeping COVID-19 at bay so far.

“We’re taking precautions because we have very limited health resources,” she said.

“We could have had a bigger chaos on our hands having to deal with both positive COVID-19 tests from passengers arriving as well as the volcanic eruption.”

Guttenbeil-Likiliki’s organisation is providing support to women and children following the eruption and tsunami, but she said she has not been able to connect with staff on the outer islands.

“We have absolutely no idea what their situation is there,” she said.

We’re just hanging on a prayer that our staff are safe,” she said.