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Portland group looks for ways to help survivors in Tonga

Relief supplies from several countries are making it to Tonga, and Portlanders are doing their part.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A week after a massive undersea volcanic eruption and tsunami devastated the nation of Tonga, a local group is trying to figure out what it can to help those in need there. 

The Immigrant & Refugee Community Organization, also known as IRCO, held a Tonga Community Day event in Northeast Portland Saturday.

Anita Kiteau-Tuikai is from Tonga and works with the organization. 

“When it first happened I was actually on the phone with my mom when the volcano erupted," Kiteau-Tuikai said. "She was saying, 'You know it's raining rocks and ash falling right now.”

Kiteau-Tuikai says her mother is fine.

At the community day event, people talked about how their families are coping and what they can do to help.

There is aid arriving in Tonga from numerous nations, they said.

Kiteau-Tuiaki says the biggest needs include fresh water and cleaning up the ash that covers much of the island nation.