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Concerns for Samoa tsunami survivors aired on NZTV
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Author Topic: Concerns for Samoa tsunami survivors aired on NZTV  (Read 1135 times)
Tavita Tusitala
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Posts: 289

« on: November 30, 2009, 03:53:04 PM »
Concerns for Samoa tsunami survivors

Two months after a devastating tsunami killed nearly 200 in Samoa there are growing concerns for the thousands of traumatised survivors who desperately need help.

Whole village populations along the ravaged south coast of Samoa have fled to the hills unable to face the sea which claimed their loved ones.

When teenager Manaia Faaliga found his mother lying dead in a pool of water his childhood was ripped from him.

"It's so sad for me, we can never get over this. I feel sad most of the time," says Faaliga.

Faaliga also lost three siblings and has now left school to help his father look after the remaining six children in the family.

He struggles with his grief and he is not alone.

Doctor Stanley Dean, the General Manager of the National Health Service says the impact from the tsunami has been huge.

" We've seen it in the first few weeks, there was a tendency of suicide," Dean says.

The village of Saleapaga lost around 40 of its people to the tsunami. Unable to deal with the destruction, 90% of the village has fled inland and formed a new settlement.

Survivor Faka Muliaga says they are too scared to go back.

"All of the family used to live on the coast, but now we are afraid to stay there. We don't ever go back," Muliaga says.

Such is their fear of the sea that they would rather live inland, even though there is no running water and no power.

Every day trucks bring crucial water supplies, filling donated water tanks and any containers the villagers can lay their hands on.

"We need water supply to survive. Although, we pretty much have everything here, the most important thing we need is water," says Muliaga.

Aid agencies have rallied to help care for the shattered community, but the emotional scars are proving harder to heal.

A New Zealand funded survey looking at the tsunami's impact on children has found they desperately need counselling.

Acting Samoan Prime Minister Misa Telefoni Retzlaff says they appreciate New Zealand's help.

"We appreciated this New Zealand team that came down. They have advised me that the second phase is the counsellors who will now come," says Retzlaff.

It is hoped they will be able to give the community the strength to face everything they have lost.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2009, 03:55:10 PM by Tavita Tusitala » Logged
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