The following is excerpted from the Pacific Church Newsroom. To read the full report, CLICK HERE.

An undersea volcanic eruption near the Kingdom of Tonga Saturday afternoon (15 January) triggered tsunami waves, flooding and ash in the sky. Communication lines are down and further updates will follow as they come to hand.

Elder Ian S. Ardern, Pacific Area President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said today (17 January), “We are praying earnestly for our brothers and sisters in Tonga, and for their loved ones across the world who are waiting for news. We are working with government and other officials in the region to identify urgent needs and how we can support efforts to alleviate suffering and help communities get back on their feet after this disaster. It is in times such as these that we are grateful for the generosity of members of the Church who donate to the Church Humanitarian fund for there will be a need of temporal assistance in Tonga.”

Church leaders in Tonga are not aware of any loss of life on Tongatapu, Tonga’s main island. Reports from outer islands are still being sought but communication lines being down and rough seas are hampering efforts, although the Tongan Navy has now been able to put to sea to gather further information.

Missionaries serving in the Tonga Nuku’alofa Mission are safe. Due to communication channels being down to outer islands, no contact has been made, to this point, with missionaries in Tonga’s second mission, the Tonga Outer Islands Mission.

To read the full report, CLICK HERE.