SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Tongans living in Utah have finally been able to get ahold of loved ones back on the island nation. 

Soane Afeaki said he waited nine days to be able to hear his sister’s voice and see her face.

He said she reassured him over and over again that she was okay.

This is the aftermath of the volcano turned tsunami that has caused volcanic ash to cover the entire country.

Afeaki said he is focused on helping any Tongans, not just his family, who need help. “I am going to try my best to help out whatever I can do,” said Afeaki.

Afeaki said his sister had to call him using a satellite phone, and that they were able to video chat after some of the internet had been restored. 

He added Tongans need to have resiliency, saying “It is our faith. If we stay strong we will keep our family. Stay strong.”