7 Oct 2009

Tongan schools to reopen after tsunami

8:42 am on 7 October 2009

Schools will reopen today on Tonga's Niuatoputapu island following last week's tsunami.

But the government says an urgent request has been received for basic school supplies to be given to children from homes that were destroyed.

The government says water pumps have been installed in Falehau and Vaipoa and water supply is now back to normal.

It says work is now focused on Hihifo's water supply.

The construction of tent homes in Hihifo village has been delayed because the medical team considered the disaster area as still unsafe for human habitation.

Personnel from the Tonga Defence Services and the Ministry of Works as well as locals are involved in the clean-up effort.

The confirmed death toll from the last week's Pacific tsunami stands at 177.

136 people have died in Samoa, 32 in American Samoa and 9 in Tonga.