A WOMAN living in Barry has finally spoken to her parents in Tonga following a devastating natural disaster.

An undersea volcanic eruption near Tonga on January 15 sent large tsunami waves crashing across the shore and preventing international communications.

Siniva Filise, 42, who is from Tonga but lives in Barry, was desperately trying to get in touch with her mother Lioneti Valu, 66, and father Fakahau Valu, 73, who still live on the island.

She’d had word from a former colleague and member of the armed forces in Tonga that they were okay but – as she usually spoke with them daily – she had a week of worry while being unable to check in on them.

But, at last, she has spoken to her mother – albeit only briefly – and feels “the weight of the world” has been lifted from her.

“I got through on Friday night, the connection was still quite funny,” said the mother-of-three.

“I tried again on Saturday morning; I called five times and got through. We spoke for one minute before it was cut off – hearing her voice was the best sound.

“It felt like the weight of the world had been lifted from me.

“She asked why I was crying and said they are fine; they’re just getting on with life. She just wants some water for the garden – typical mother.

“Our village escaped, and the house is standing and they strongly believe they’ll be fine.”


PA Media has reported that UK aid has arrived in Tonga.

The Royal Navy’s offshore patrol vessel, HMS Spey, which docked on Wednesday, sailed from Tahiti to the country carrying vital supplies.

This included 30,000 litres of bottled water, supplies for more than 300 first aid kits, personal protective equipment, basic sanitation and baby products.

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