29 Sep 2017

The two Samoas remember the 2009 tsunami

6:01 pm on 29 September 2017

The manager of a beach resort on Samoa's south coast says today was like a Sunday as her village remembered the victims of the 2009 tsunami.

Damage from the 2009 Tsunami in Samoa

Damage from the 2009 Tsunami in Samoa Photo: Supplied

Litia Sini's beach fales in Lalomanu village was totally destroyed when the tsunami struck eight years ago today.

Lalomanu tsunami memorial

Lalomanu tsunami memorial Photo: Supplied/ Tanumaleu Fa’asi’i

143 lives were lost to the massive wave, many from Lalomanu, one of the worst affected villages.

Tracey Fa'asi'i from the fully rebuilt resort says villages along Upolu's south coast held services in memory of those lost.

She says Lalomanu started today with a special church service at six o'clock which was attended by locals and tourists alike as well as friends and family from Apia and overseas.

"Today is like a Sunday. After church everyone went home and they had their family to'ona'i, like a big lunch and then no-one is allowed to play any games. It's like a Sunday. It's so holy," said Tracey Fa'asi'i.

To the east and on the other side of the dateline, American Samoa marks the day tomorrow.

The territory lost 34 lives and governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga is using the occasion to remind the community about disaster preparedness.

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