4 Oct 2009

Day of mourning to coincide with tsunami victims' funeral

11:04 pm on 4 October 2009

A national day of mourning in Samoa is likely to coincide with a mass funeral and burial for victims of the tsunami at 10am on Thursday (local time).

After consulting families of the victims for a second time in Apia, the government announced it will be hold the funeral at 10am on Thursday (local time, Friday NZT).

Relatives earlier asked for more time for other family members to arrive from overseas.

At least 135 people are confirmed dead in Samoa from the tsunami and an estimated 100 bodies are still in morgues.

The Samoan government has offered to pay the casket and cemetery costs for them.

The tsunami followed a magnitude 8.0 earthquake which occurred at 1748 GMT on Tuesday at a depth of 33km, some 190km from Apia.