Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Earth Science News .

Subscribe free to our newsletters via your

Quake rocks Samoa on tsunami anniversary

by Staff Writers
Apia, Samoa (AFP) Sept 29, 2010
Samoa on Wednesday marked the first anniversary of a tsunami that killed 143 people, as a fresh earthquake heightened painful memories of the Pacific nation's worst natural disaster.

Dawn vigils were held across the country for victims of the tsunami, which also claimed 34 lives in American Samoa and nine in Tonga.

In a freak seismic catastrophe, three quakes in rapid succession measuring magnitude 7.8 to 8.1 unleashed waves as high as 15 metres (50 feet) that flattened villages and tourist resorts.

Head of state Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi he was still haunted by the images that confronted him when he visited the disaster zone with Prime Minister Tu'u'u Anasi'i Leota.

"The anguish and raw pain we witnessed when dead or dying bodies were recovered from thickets, bush or trees, sent our emotions awry and our tears flowing freely," he said in a televised national address.

"The tsunami swept through more than just the physical life of Samoa. It also swept through our spiritual, religious, cultural, social, mental, emotional and material lives."

In a chilling reminder of the danger still facing residents in the Pacific's quake-prone "Ring of Fire", an earthquake rocked Samoa about an hour after the dawn services.

There were no reports of damage from the tremor, which the US Geological Survey said measured magnitude 5.4 and hit at a depth of 35 kilometres (21.7 miles), 190 kilometres southwest of the capital Apia.

But unnerved locals gathered around radio and television sets, ready for a tsunami alert that would have sent them fleeing to high ground.

"It brought back memories, I had lots of mates that died in the tsunami," Apia hotelier Fred Crichton told the website.

Some communities, including the village of Saleapaga where 32 people died, have relocated permanently to the hills, while others have stayed on the coast but spent the past year preparing for another tsunami.

"Disaster planning was previously simply theoretical, its now very meaningful to Samoan communities," Samoa Red Cross Secretary General Tautala Mauala said.

"Some communities that remain near the ocean are constructing escape routes up steep cliffs to prevent being trapped by another tsunami. Others are including disaster risk reduction in community plans."

Elsewhere, tourist resorts have been rebuilt with more robust structures than those swept away by the killer waves.

Resort manager Lydia Sini To'omalatai said she was initially too scared of the sea to rebuild.

"But at the end of the day, we decided 'no, it's a must that we do'," she said.

"This is our family livelihood... not only for our family but to provide for the poor and help the church community as well as our village."

On Sunday, the Samoan government will hold a national memorial day in the deeply-religious country and unveil a memorial plaque dedicated to the tsunami's victims.

In Tonga the anniversary was commemorated with church services and a day of fasting and in American Samoa, the the tsunami's anniversary was declared a public holiday.

American Samoa's Governor Togiola Tulafono told a memorial service that the anniversary would help provide closure for relatives of the dead.

Share This Article With Planet Earth DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook

Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Tsunami Detection Improves But Coastal Areas Still Vulnerable
Washington DC (SPX) Sep 21, 2010
The nation's ability to detect and forecast tsunamis has improved since the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but current efforts are still not sufficient to meet challenges posed by tsunamis generated near land that leave little time for warning, says a new congressionally requested report from the National Research Council. The report calls for a comprehensive national assessment of tsunami ris ... read more

Pakistan flood victims struggle to rebuild alone

Banquet for China's super-rich exceeds expectations: Buffett

Landslides in Mexico take deadly toll

Flood victims sleep by roadsides in northern Nigeria

Hylas Gets Green Light For Spaceport Trip

Poll: Children embracing e-books

Northrop Grumman Space Cryocoolers Achieve 100 Years Of On-Orbit Performance

NASA's NPP Climate Satellite Passes Pre-Environmental Review

China water diversion project poses risks

Scientists to review oil sands pollution of waterways

Tile Drainage Directly Related To Nitrate Loss

Global Study Finds Widespread Threats To Global Rivers

Putin says Arctic must remain 'zone of peace'

Iceland calls for end to 'Cold War' tension over Arctic

Russia, Canada trade rival Arctic claims

Glaciers Help High-Latitude Mountains Grow Taller

Genetically Engineered Silkworms To Produce Artificial Spider Silk

Digging Deep For Ways To Curb Ammonia Emissions

Sinochem struggles to mount rival Potash bid: report

FAO sounds off on impending beef crisis

Quake rocks Samoa on tsunami anniversary

Pinpointing Where Volcanic Eruptions Could Strike

Nigerian flood victims face food shortages, disease outbreak

Quake kills one in south Iran

Coups in Africa hinder development: S.Leone's new army chief

Uganda wildlife soared over past decade: authority

French troops sent to Niamey after kidnappings: sources

Mauritanian troops battle Al-Qaeda-linked fighters in Mali

Suicide rate rises among China's elderly: state media

China marks 30 years of one-child policy

Critics urge pressure as China one-child policy hits 30

Outside View: Please fence me in

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement