14 Oct 2009

Call for help to prevent disease on tsunami-hit Tongan island

1:30 pm on 14 October 2009

There are calls from Tonga's northern island of Niuatoputapu for more assistance following the tsunami.

Eight people died when the tsunami smashed into three coastal villages on Niuatoputapu.

The caretaker at a resort on a small nearby island was also killed.

Paea Fifita, the only nurse practitioner on Niuatoputapu, says a lot of work remains to improve the water supply.

She says without water pumps, generators, sterilisers and purifiers, there could be an epidemic of water borne disease.

"What I am doing now is advising the people to boil their water and that is my really hard job right now. Going out from home to home - I really want to see what the people are doing and how they take care of their lives. I am really afraid of any epidemic that may affects the lives of the people."

Paea Fifita says she is grateful for the assistance already provided.