Salvation Army reaching out after Tonga storm

(Photo: The Salvation Army)A Salvation Army worker at an education project in Tonga prior to Cyclone Ian

The Salvation Army has been assisting communities in Tonga as the South Pacific nation recovers from one of the most powerful storms it has ever been hit by.

The category five Cyclone Ian reached wind speeds of almost 180 miles per hour and caused serious damage most especially on the island of Ha'apai.

One person was killed on the island and many buildings collapsed under the weight of the storm.

With children about to start the new school year, The Salvation Army will initially focus its support on ensuring that those in the worst-affected areas are well equipped, replacing school uniforms, stationery and supplies lost in the cyclone.

The Salvation Army's Regional Commander in Tonga, Captain Sila Siufanga, said: "An immediate need for students in the first few weeks after Cyclone Ian is their education. We welcome donations that will help us buy and deliver supplies to make the start to the new school year less traumatic for children whose lives have been turned upside down."

The New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory has set up an appeal to support the relief work on Tonga. Donations can be made online at