But on Friday, his father walked through the door of Taufatofua’s family home on the main island of Ha’apai — “sun burnt and tired,” but safe after a “big adventure,” said the Olympic athlete in an Instagram post on Friday.
Taufatofua said his father had boarded a Navy boat in the immediate wake of the tsunami, supporting rescue and first response on the main island of Ha’apai before departing the boat to “survey and assist out” on the outer islands.
After almost a week working in first response, the 74-year-old got a small boat to return him to Ha’apai and his family home — much to the “shock” of his family.
“The family wouldn’t let him and here he is safe and sound resting. He’s going to need his energy to help Ha’apai in her recovery efforts over the following days, weeks and months.”
Elon Musk assesses aid options
Taufatofua said that his father had spoken of the “damage and devastation” in some of the country’s outer islands, echoing updates provided by the Tongan government on Tuesday.
Prime Minister Siaosi Sovaleni added that the “volcanic mushroom plume” extended to cover all of the country’s roughly 170 islands — of which 36 are inhabited — impacting the entire population of more than 100,000 people.
“Any chance we could borrow your wifi? #starlink”
A division of SpaceX, Starlink uses satellites in low orbit to “provide high-speed, low-latency broadband internet” worldwide, according to their website.
“We don’t have enough satellites with laser links and there are already geo sats that serve the Tonga region. That is why I’m asking for clear confirmation.”
CNN has reached out to SpaceX for comment.