Tonga's Olympic flagbearer Pita Taufatofua hasn't heard from his father since 'devastating' tsunami

Olympic athlete Pita Taufatofua has yet to make contact with his father after the 'devastating' tsunami hit Tonga

Sport, Pita Taufatofua: Tonga's Olympic Flagbearer Hasn't Heard From His Father Since 'Devastating' Tsunam

1/20/2022 6:20:00 PM

Olympic athlete Pita Taufatofua has yet to make contact with his father after the 'devastating' tsunami hit Tonga

Olympic athlete Pita Taufatofua has yet to make contact with his father after the 'devastating' tsunami hit Tonga.

The disaster was triggered by Saturday's huge eruption of the underwater Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano and caused"unprecedented" damage to the Pacific nation. Taufatofua, who became widely recognized after being his country's flagbearer at the Summer and Winter Olympics, is currently in Australia and hasn't yet heard from his father who lived on the main island of Tongatapu. "I have no idea what has happened to him," he told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies."I am optimistic he will be OK, and hopefully, he is out there working in the community. That is probably my guess, but that is just me speculating. Read More"It is very tough, but I have no choice. In times like this, you've got to stand up. There are people all around the world who are standing up as well, it's not just me, it's many, many thousands of people."READ: Tonga faces 'unprecedented disaster' as New Zealand warns of further eruptionsPita Taufatofua of Tonga led his country out during Tokyo 2020.Widespread devastation The"volcanic mushroom plume" extended to cover all of the country's roughly 170 islands -- of which 36 are inhabited -- impacting the entire population of more than 100,000 people.Tongan Prime Minster Siaosi Sovaleni said all houses on the island of Mango, where 36 people live, were destroyed during the disaster. Only two houses remain on Fonoifua island, and extensive damage was reported on Nomuka island, home to 239 people, he said.Tonga's government on Tuesday confirmed the deaths of three people and several other injuries.First contactless aid flights arrive in disaster-hit Tonga as islands aim to keep Covid-19 outOn Wednesday, Taufatofua posted a message on Instagram assuring people that his family home was still standing, but he's still not been able to speak to his father. In order to help with the relief effort, the taekwondo and cross-country skiing athlete established a GoFundMe fundraising page, which CNN has verified.The funds will go"towards those most in need" as well as repairs of infrastructure, and schools and hospitals that were damaged."We have no choice, we can't run to our rooms and sit there and cry and wish. Now is the time for us to work and help our country," he added."We started a GoFundMe page and people have been so generous." Taufatofua says there are now issues with the"thick layer of ash" across the country as well as water filtration concerns and communication problems. He has urged people to keep sharing information about the disaster so the world is aware of the tiny nation trying to recover. "When you are there in Tonga, everything is lush, it's green, it's blue, it's full of life," he said. "When you look at it now, it looks like a 1910 black and white film and everything is covered in ash. It's not the Tonga you remember.""If anyone out there has a spare satellite, please send it our way. Our communications were shut down."Elon Musk, if you're watching, send Starlink our way, we need help. We need to communicate with our loved ones."'use strict';CNN.Videx=CNN.Videx || {};CNN.Videx.mobile={};CNN.INJECTOR.executeFeature('video').then(function () {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleUnmutePlayer=function handleUnmutePlayer(containerId, dataObj) {'use strict';var playerInstance,playerPropertyObj,rememberTime,unmuteCTA,unmuteIdSelector='unmute_' + containerId,isPlayerMute;dataObj=dataObj || {};if (CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibraryName(containerId)==='fave') {playerInstance=FAVE.player.getInstance(containerId) || null;} else {playerInstance=containerId && window.cnnVideoManager.getPlayerByContainer(containerId).videoInstance.cvp || null;}isPlayerMute=(typeof dataObj.muted==='boolean') ? dataObj.muted : false;if (CNN.VideoPlayer.playerProperties && CNN.VideoPlayer.playerProperties[containerId]) {playerPropertyObj=CNN.VideoPlayer.playerProperties[containerId];}if (playerPropertyObj.mute && playerPropertyObj.contentPlayed) {if (isPlayerMute===false) {unmuteCTA=jQuery(document.getElementById(unmuteIdSelector));playerInstance.unmute();if (unmuteCTA.length > 0) {unmuteCTA.removeClass('video__unmute--active').addClass('video__unmute--inactive');unmuteCTA.off('click');rememberTime=0;if (rememberTime 0) {$vidEndSlate.find('.l-container').html('');$vidEndSlate.removeClass('video__end-slate--inactive').addClass('video__end-slate--active');}};CNN.autoPlayVideoExist=(CNN.autoPlayVideoExist===true) ? true : false;var configObj={thumb: 'none',video: 'world/2022/01/18/tonga-satellite-images-intl-ovn-vpx.cnn',width: '100%',height: '100%',section: 'international',profile: 'expansion',network: 'cnn',markupId: 'body-text_34',theoplayer: {allowNativeFullscreen: true},adsection: 'const-article-inpage',frameWidth: '100%',frameHeight: '100%',posterImageOverride: {"mini":{"width":220,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-small-169.jpg","height":124},"xsmall":{"width":300,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-medium-plus-169.jpg","height":173},"small":{"width":460,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-large-169.jpg","height":259},"medium":{"width":780,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-exlarge-169.jpg","height":438},"large":{"width":1100,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-super-169.jpg","height":619},"full16x9":{"width":1600,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-full-169.jpg","height":900},"mini1x1":{"width":100,"type":"jpg","uri":"//cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/220118014528-tonga-before-after-satellite-maxar-split-1-small-11.jpg","height":100}}},autoStartVideo=false,isVideoReplayClicked=false,callbackObj,containerEl,currentVideoCollection=[],currentVideoCollectionId='',isLivePlayer=false,mediaMetadataCallbacks,mobilePinnedView=null,moveToNextTimeout,mutePlayerEnabled=false,nextVideoId='',nextVideoUrl='',turnOnFlashMessaging=false,videoPinner,videoEndSlateImpl;if (CNN.autoPlayVideoExist===false) {autoStartVideo=false;autoStartVideo=typeof CNN.isLoggedInVideoCheck==='function' ? 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perfect ✅ Oh come on. Don't be mad at someone just because they were hit by a volcano. 🙏🙏🙏

Water crisis looms for tsunami-hit Tonga; New Zealand help on the wayTwo New Zealand navy vessels will arrive in Tonga on Friday carrying critical water supplies for the Pacific island nation reeling from a volcanic eruption and tsunami and largely cut off from the outside world. Hi, I am a structural engineer from Iran who have many ideas. I have summarized some of my ideas on my twitter(I suggest look at the idea of generating electricity by gravity). I want to work with companies and investors. Do you want to cooperate?

First photos show 'unprecedented disaster' after undersea eruption, tsunami hit TongaThick layer of volcanic ash covers Tonga's islands as the first images emerged from the Pacific island nation since it was hit by a massive undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami. Waiting for the climate change fanatics. I owe you an apology to ever doubt your sincerity and professionalism. MarkBromfield00 was just like a dream to me when I received my first payment. After my second payment it became a reality now after several payments it has become a way of life Democrat Rep. Norton parks her vehicle illegally on Capitol Hill.

Tonga Volcano Relief Complicated By Communications Cutoff, Virus FearsOnly one person in Tonga has reportedly had COVID, making outside assistance a huge risk. Gosh the last thing they need now is the epidemic.🙏🙏🙏❤️ I bet COVID is their primary concern 🙄 Go home Nick…. You’re drunk.

Tonga government issues 1st statement since volcanic blastNew ground pictures have emerged of the massive volcano eruption in Tonga. For the first time since the undersea volcano erupted and caused widespread damage, the government of Tonga released its first statement. 🌋 Absolutely amazing. One of earth’s miracles and gifts even though it may not be immediately evident. What a blast!! My prayers 🙏 with all those effected by the devastation. Mother nature is beautiful in her anger until you are in her path.

Why the Tonga Eruption Was So Violent, and What to Expect NextResearch into earlier eruptions suggests this is the type of massive explosion the volcano sees about every thousand years cli-fi authors: are we going to need a man-made Pinatubo geoengineering fix? Mother Nature: Big_U_Dawg Slightly cooler temps?

Tonga volcano eruption created puzzling ripples in Earth’s atmospherePowerful waves ringing through the atmosphere after the eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai are unlike anything seen before.

(CNN)Olympic athlete Pita Taufatofua has yet to make contact with his father after the"devastating" tsunami hit Tonga. The disaster was triggered by Saturday's huge eruption of the underwater Hunga-Tonga-Hunga-Ha'apai volcano and caused"unprecedented" damage to the Pacific nation. Taufatofua, who became widely recognized after being his country's flagbearer at the Summer and Winter Olympics, is currently in Australia and hasn't yet heard from his father who lived on the main island of Tongatapu. "I have no idea what has happened to him," he told CNN Sport's Amanda Davies."I am optimistic he will be OK, and hopefully, he is out there working in the community. That is probably my guess, but that is just me speculating. Read More"It is very tough, but I have no choice. In times like this, you've got to stand up. There are people all around the world who are standing up as well, it's not just me, it's many, many thousands of people."READ: Tonga faces 'unprecedented disaster' as New Zealand warns of further eruptionsPita Taufatofua of Tonga led his country out during Tokyo 2020.Widespread devastation The"volcanic mushroom plume" extended to cover all of the country's roughly 170 islands -- of which 36 are inhabited -- impacting the entire population of more than 100,000 people.Tongan Prime Minster Siaosi Sovaleni said all houses on the island of Mango, where 36 people live, were destroyed during the disaster. Only two houses remain on Fonoifua island, and extensive damage was reported on Nomuka island, home to 239 people, he said.Tonga's government on Tuesday confirmed the deaths of three people and several other injuries.First contactless aid flights arrive in disaster-hit Tonga as islands aim to keep Covid-19 outOn Wednesday, Taufatofua posted a message on Instagram assuring people that his family home was still standing, but he's still not been able to speak to his father. In order to help with the relief effort, the taekwondo and cross-country skiing athlete established a GoFundMe fundraising page, which CNN has verified.The funds will go"towards those most in need" as well as repairs of infrastructure, and schools and hospitals that were damaged."We have no choice, we can't run to our rooms and sit there and cry and wish. Now is the time for us to work and help our country," he added."We started a GoFundMe page and people have been so generous." Taufatofua says there are now issues with the"thick layer of ash" across the country as well as water filtration concerns and communication problems. He has urged people to keep sharing information about the disaster so the world is aware of the tiny nation trying to recover. "When you are there in Tonga, everything is lush, it's green, it's blue, it's full of life," he said. "When you look at it now, it looks like a 1910 black and white film and everything is covered in ash. It's not the Tonga you remember.""If anyone out there has a spare satellite, please send it our way. Our communications were shut down."Elon Musk, if you're watching, send Starlink our way, we need help. 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!Modernizr.phone && !Modernizr.mobile && !Modernizr.tablet) {if (typeof videoPinner !=='undefined' && videoPinner !==null) {videoPinner.setIsPlaying(false);}}},onCVPVisibilityChange: function (containerId, cvpId, visible) {CNN.VideoPlayer.handleAdOnCVPVisibilityChange(containerId, visible);}};if (typeof configObj.context !=='string' || configObj.context.length 0) {configObj.adsection=window.ssid;}CNN.autoPlayVideoExist=(CNN.autoPlayVideoExist===true) ? true : false;CNN.VideoPlayer.getLibrary(configObj, callbackObj, isLivePlayer);});CNN.INJECTOR.scriptComplete('videodemanddust');ReplayMore Videos ...MUST WATCH New satellite images show Tonga communities covered in ash 00:31'We are sons of the earth'Taufatofua had been training for taekwondo as well as attempting to qualify for sprint kayaking for the 2020 Tokyo Games, a sport he was picking up as a nod to his ancestors, as well as for environmental reasons.He failed to qualify in the sprint kayak, meaning he competed solely in taekwondo.Despite the widespread damage caused by the tsunami, Taufatofua says he still has respect for Mother Nature and the oceans which play a huge part in Tonganese life. "Mother Earth is God's greatest creation and it's certainly something that we have to respect," he said. "So even with a volcano devastating the island, we still have respect for the volcano, for the oceans, for nature. We have no hate or animosity. "We understand, as Tongans, that we are sons of the earth. From dust we came, from ashes we will eventually return. "We still have nothing but love for the oceans, it makes no difference."