Tongans in Hawaii await word from cyclone-stricken relatives - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Tongans in Hawaii await word from cyclone-stricken relatives

Saia Finau Saia Finau

By Holly Juscen – bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewNow) - Winds of up to 200 miles per hour ripped through the capital of Nukualofa on the main island of Tongatapu late Sunday. Devastation includes flooding in the streets, uprooted trees and downed power lines.

Communication has been cut off since Sunday, and many family members here in Hawaii still cannot reach relatives in Tonga. Saia Finau, of Kalihi, has been trying to reach his brother for 24 hours.

"Maybe there's no death...but there may be injuries -- maybe they have no food. It scares me a little, I was there once in a hurricane with 85 to 100 mile an hour winds, so I know how it feels to be in that situation" said Finau.

Police said they had no immediate reports of death or injury during the storm that hammered the three main island groups of the kingdom for more than 24 hours.

With phone service out indefinitely, relatives just have to sit and wait, but Finau knows what to do next, "When we do make contact we know what to do - we will be sending monetary donations to help out."

Most buildings and homes survived with little structural damage, but the wind wrecked gardens and crops. Fruit stalls and flimsy structures at the markets and on the sea front were destroyed.

Copyright 2010 Hawaii News Now. All rights reserved.

Powered by Frankly