5 Oct 2009

Water and shelter most urgent need for Tongans

8:29 pm on 5 October 2009

The Red Cross in Tonga says tsunami victims need water and shelter most, after more than 300 people were left homeless on the island of Niuatoputapu.

About 400 Tongans have been affected by the disaster, with 80 households destroyed and 56 that could be repaired.

Red Cross secretary-general Sione Taumoefolau says the organisation has received nearly 50 tents from New Zealand and 30 from within Tonga but it needs another 100.

He says the island's water systems are damaged beyond. The New Zealand Red Cross has offered to deliver a water purification machine that could generate sufficient drinking water.