2 Mar 2010

Tsunami alert for Apia labelled a waste of time

4:06 pm on 2 March 2010

A businessman in Samoa says issuing a tsunami alert for the whole country two days ago was a waste of time.

Papali'i Grant Percival told the Samoa Observer that tracking showed the tsunami was heading towards the south-east coast of Upolu.

He says it was never going to hit Apia and rousing people from their beds in the early hours of the morning was for nothing.

But Samoa's Head of Meteorology, Mulipola Australia Titimaea, says the whole country had to go on alert because of wave refraction.

Our correspondent in Samoa, Autagavaia Tipi Autagavaia reported that thousands of people headed for higher ground following the tsunami warning.