Hawke's Bay pro-rugby player Solomone Funaki lost contact with his Tongan family in the middle of a video call after it ''started raining rocks''.
The Magpie and Moana Pasifika loose forward and his fellow Tongan teammates are sticking together as they wait to hear from family after the violent eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano in Tonga.
Funaki was talking to his family in Nuku'alofa on Saturday when the eruption happened.
"My dad Tiuke Funaki, sisters Lesieli, Akanesi, and Ofa Funaki and brothers Mohulamu and Kelepi Funaki, along with my gorgeous little four-year-old niece Matila Sii, all stay on Nuku'alofa."
He said his siblings and Dad were all on a video call when all hell broke loose.
"We were talking when the eruption happened. It started raining rocks, and then they got cut off."
He said the chat lasted about 30 minutes, but he has not heard from them since.
"We called again, but there was nothing."
He said the silence made him "pretty scared", but he strongly believed his family were safe.
"My belief they are safe keeps me motivated, keeps me focused. I also have two children, a four-year-old girl, Bambina, and a two-month-old boy Tiuke, and I am lucky to have them because they help."
Funake and fellow Magpies Joe 'Apikotoa and Anzelo Tuitavuki were using the uncertainty and reminder of the importance of family as motivation to train harder for Moana Pasifika.
"I am hoping they (his family) get in touch as soon as possible, I wish I could do something. I feel for the other Tongans in Hawke's Bay, especially the seasonal workers who have left their families behind.
"Big-ups to them as they wait to hear from their families, and much love. I hope they are safe."
Today Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Nuku'alofa suffered "significant" damage.
"The tsunami has had a significant impact on the foreshore on the northern side of Nuku'alofa, with boats and large boulders washed ashore," Ardern said after contact with the New Zealand embassy in Tonga.
"Nuku'alofa is covered in a thick film of volcanic dust but otherwise conditions are calm and stable."
Tonga was in need of water supplies, she said, as "the ash cloud has caused contamination".
There was no word on any damage in the outer islands but a Defence Force reconnaissance aircraft has been sent "to assist in an initial impact assessment of the area and low-lying islands".
The Red Cross estimates 80,000 people may have been affected by the tsunami, and dust from the volcano could contaminate water supplies.
Aid authorities asked people to wear masks and drink bottled water.