A Tongan family living in Thurgoona is anxiously awaiting contact from their island home after Saturday's volcanic eruption.
Etu Uaisele, his wife Ofa and their children have been living on the Border for five years.
Mr Uaisele, who came to the border from Sydney to play rugby league, said they were yet to hear from family after the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted on Saturday.
"A lot of Tongans around the world are in the same spot ... we're worried," he said.
"I was born in Tonga and grew up less than a kilometre from the water.
"I saw Facebook Lives from just before (the eruption) when it (the volcano) started smoking, before it cut out and they all evacuated."
The couple hopes those they know on the coast at Nuku'alofa, the capital of Tonga, were able to make it to higher ground safely.
Australia and New Zealand have deployed military support, however ash on the runaway - which is covering the island and threatening water and food supplies - is a major issue.
Yesterday the government confirmed the homes on one of Tonga's small outer islands were destroyed and three people were confirmed dead.
Mrs Uaisele said estimations it would take two weeks for an undersea cable to be restored was devastating.
"It's just terrible, the lingering and waiting ... you don't know what's going on but you just hope for the best really," she said.
"My cousin lives in Brisbane, and he's over in Australia picking fruit; his wife and baby are in Tonga and he was trying to FaceTime them.
"You feel for all those ones who are here, working for their families back home, and now they have no idea what their fate is.
"My Aunty's house is three houses back from the beachfront and last we heard she'd evacuated to higher ground."
Mr Uaisele has Tongan colleagues at Twin City Truck Centre and said it was difficult for all of them.
"People back home were always talking about it erupting one day, that this was going to happen," he said.
"I've been away for 25 years and now it's actually happening."
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Mr Uaisele, a Wodonga Wombats player, has often fundraised for Tonga and anticipates he will do so to support the clean up effort.
"The last time we were home was 2020 - I took two of the boys there to see it," he said.
"It was amazing to go back there where I grew up and see all my nieces and nephews.
"And that's why I'm worried, because they're all very young."
Saturday's volcanic eruption caused a tsunami and was felt as far away as the United States.
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