Palakisa Broder fears for her husband David Broder and her family at home in Tonga after the devastating volcanic eruption over the weekend.
Fears that have only escalated since the news of the death of a friend reached her this morning.
Ms Broder, who has been living on the NSW South Coast for almost two years after Tonga closed its borders due to the COVID-19 pandemic said she was scared for her husband and her family's safety after already receiving some of the worst news possible on Tuesday morning.
"I have got sad news this morning that my best friend ... she was washed away during the tsunami," Ms Broder said.
A British ex-pat to the island nation, Ms Broder said she had received word her friend Angela's body had been recovered that morning.
She still cannot reach her husband, or her older brother and her nephews.
"So far I don't know what's going on there - the only thing that I know is watching the internet - and seeing bits and pieces.
"I've got my older brother there and also I've got my nephews and his family and cousins, but I have no idea how they or my husband are doing."
Ms Broder had come to Eden in 2020 to care for her grandchildren, while her daughter did nursing placements, but Tonga placed a hard closure on its borders that March, leaving her stranded here since, while her husband David was back home in Tonga.
She said trace communications were coming through satellite thanks to the Australian and New Zealand governments, while she also reached out to the Department of Foreign Affairs to hopefully make contact with her husband.
"The only connection I can get with my husband is to ring up DFAT last night and gave them his details and his phone number to see if they can make any contact.
"There is no communication whatsoever, I can't ring anybody and the only bits and pieces they've got is via satellite."
She said her brother lived in their parents home on the coast and feared the tsunami could have posed a major threat, but remained hopeful saying it was elevated somewhat from the ocean.
"I don't know how to explain what I'm feeling, it is heart-breaking," she said.
"It's an unheard of experience and I'm not there to face the situation, but there is frustration to have to sit here and think about your loved ones."
She said the eruption had impacted people all over the world and she hoped sharing some words could help people understand the hopelessness Tongans feel at the moment.
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"Only God knows how long I will be here and not see my husband," Ms Broder said.
Ms Broder said she and David had been together for over 20 years and married for 10.
"The last time I spoke to him was Saturday morning and he was worried about drinking water, but we have a lot of water tanks around the house and I mentioned to him to disconnect all the inlets, so I hope he did that and he will have a drinkable water supply he can share with everyone who might not have drinking water."
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