Bay Area relief for Tonga

The island nation of Tonga's 106,000 residents have been devastated by the volcanic explosion which has covered much of its territory in ashes and disabled many vital systems. 

There is a local effort to help the island paradise, with many Tongan expatriates helping in the recovery. A ship leaves Friday and there's still time to help for the longer term recovery.

Many people, including many of Tongan ancestry, have been bringing non-perishable emergency supplies to SF Enterprises on Oakland's Mandela Parkway, a shipping company that specializes in Tonga. 

Maalika Vuni and two friends are paying to send supplies and goods to her family who they say they have yet to communicate with. 

"Very worried for the health of all the Tongans. Even though we have an update about the damages, I think we have, so far, three fatalities back in Tonga. But it's been how many days that we have yet to make contact because there is no internet. Everything is down in Tonga," said Ms. Vuni. Janinine Logo's daughter lives in Tonga. "My daughter was Face Timing during the actual, when it first started and she said that the skies were red in Nicu’alofa and the children were scared in the car because they were traveling to higher ground and the ash was coming down so hard that they thought it was going to break the windshield of the car," said Ms. Logo.

Most of the donated goods will go compliments of the shipper, SF Enterprises through Western Samoa. "We, as a family and as an organization want to get it to Tonga as close as possible. So, like the vessel leaving this Friday get as much water on here, get it to Samoa and we'll figure out whatever charter or whatever we can do get to Tonga you know," said SF Enterprises' Sisilia Langi Pahulu. 

The most efficient and economical way to haul all of these emergency supplies off to Tonga is in a container ship. The problem is: economical as it might be, the reality is it will be four to five weeks before it arrives. 

MORE: Bay Area Tongans desperate for news from home after eruption, tsunami

There are still a couple days to donate. "Because of the long transit time, get it on the ship. You have time for it to get there," said Ms. Langi Pahulu.

Immediate emergency supplies will come from nations closer to Tonga with, no doubt, U.S, assistance. "Please pray for Tonga," said Logo.