“Daunting sound, splashes of tsunami waves, fear, and disarray of that day, may never be forgotten”

Fourteen years ago two massive earthquakes reaching 8.1 near the Tongan trench struck the centre of Samoa’s archipelago and generated unprecedented tsunami waves of more than 20 metres high.
These tsunami waves furiously engulfed the shores of the southern part of the Samoan islands, causing massive destruction to properties and infrastructure, and claimed 149 lives in Samoa, 34 in American Samoa.
Nine deaths were recorded in Tonga says, Acting Prime Minister Tuala Tevaga Iosefo Ponifasio as the note speaker during the ceremony honoring the 14th anniversary of the deadly tsunami that struck Samoa in 2009.
He said the daunting sound and splashes of tsunami waves, fear, and disarray of that day, may never be forgotten – especially for the families of the causalities.
“Amongst the casualties were parents, children and visitors from overseas who were visiting our shores at the time.
“Among these children was a child who was five months old. “The horrendous impacts of the Tsunami 2009 on our country and people were devastating, but through the support of government agencies, civil society organisations, village and communities and our development partners, we were able to rebuild from this devastation.
“Above all it was the grace of God that saved us, and helped our country to rebuild.
“Today, at a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tuana’imato cemetery where the tsunami 2009 commemorative headstone was erected in 2010, we remembered and acknowledged the people of over twenty villages in Samoa and those from overseas who lost their lives in the tsunami.
“Today (Friday) also reminds us that the climate crisis is real and its effects are detrimental to the environment and our lives, especially for small island countries like Samoa.
“The current global trends in weather and climatic patterns attest to the urgent need for more incredible and stronger concerted efforts to respond to the climate crisis and to strategize ways to strengthen countries resilience and recovery abilities.
“This has been done through Samoa’s regular engagement in national, regional and international fora, and genuine partnerships.
“On behalf of the Honourable Prime Minister and Cabinet, I convey our prayers and well wishes to all families and relatives of those who lost their lives in the 2009 tsunami.”