30 Sep 2013

Memories of 2009 tsunami remain fresh in Polynesia

4:05 pm on 30 September 2013

Those who are reflecting on the devastating tsunami four years ago, say the emotions and memories from that day are still fresh in their minds.

The deadly September 2009 tsunami ripped through villages, homes and businesses, killing 143 people in Samoa, 34 in American Samoa and 9 in Tonga.

Lydia Sini To'omalatai, in Lalomanu village, says her family rebuilt their Litia Sini Beach Resort within the first year of it being destroyed, but the sadness of losing loved ones is still raw in their hearts.

"As far as regaining our lives from what has happened, it has never, it will ne ver been the same, it has not been the same, but we have all managed to move on and put that behind us because we believe it's the only way we can move on, by not dwelling in the past and what had happened. It's a cause of disaster it's definitely not under our control."

Lydia Sini To'omalatai says while they have built their own evacuation route, they are still hoping the government will help with a better route, and install emergency sirens.

Tn American Samoa, the High Talking chief of Leone village, which lost 11 people, Fiu John Saelua, says the village is still healing, and it's too horrible to think about what happened that day.