Friends of Tongan students in Cuba have taken to social media hoping to hear from their loved ones after Cyclone Irma left the country with trail of destruction.
Category 5 hurricane Irma had caused catastrophic damage across the Caribbean as it swept across islands including St Martin, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the British and US Virgin Islands last week.
Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, had killed nearly 40 people – at least 10 of them in Cuba – before turning its fury on Florida..
A total of 5.6 million people, or 25 percent of the population of the state of Florida in US, were ordered to evacuate the state, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Tongan Facebook users have tagged some names on Facebook including the names of Rachael Faiva’ilo, Initai Olie and Roxy Latavao.
According to their individual Facebook account Latavao said she lived in Vedado, La Habana, Cuba. ‘Olie said she studied medicines at Escuela Latinoamericana de Medicina in Cuba while Rachael Faiva’ilo wrote under her profile that she studied MD, Medicine at Universidad de Ciencias Médicas, Cienfuegos.
Some of their friends wished they were safe and urging them to keep in touch.
“Hope you all OK”, a commentator wrote on Facebook.
“Love you all”, another wrote.
On Wednesday Latavao took to Facebook and wrote.
“Getting ready for cyclone Irma…….Dear God pliz (sic) have mercy on us n (sic) send da (sic) cyclone far from here.”
About a dozen Tongans were currently studying in Cuba as medical students.
Kaniva News has contacted the students and Tongan ambassador to Cuba, Mahe’uli’uli Tupouniua for comment.