30 Sep 2010

Memorials held for Pacific tsunami

7:36 am on 30 September 2010

Villages around Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga are all remembering the day lives, homes and businesses were destroyed by the deadly September 2009 tsunami.

A year ago today, 186 people were killed - 143 in Samoa, 34 in American Samoa and 9 in Tonga.

Leilani Momoisea reports,

"In Samoa, villages are unveiling plaques in remeberance of those who died and families are having their own private unveilings later in the day. Church services have been timed to coincide with the time the tsunami struck and some villages have asked that people not swim in the sea as a sign of respect for the dead. Today also marks the official opening of Satitoa primary school, which was entirely demolished by the waves, and has been rebuilt in the village on higher ground. In American Samoa the 29th has been declared a public holiday and in Tonga the anniversary will be commemorated with church services and a day of fasting."