Some Lau villagers still reeling from tsunami experience


Villagers in Nukuni on Ono-I-Lau Island, Lau, say they are still in shock after tidal waves damaged five houses as a volcano erupted submarine in Tonga on Saturday.

Saturday’s eruption triggered tsunami warnings and evacuation orders and caused huge waves on several South Pacific islands.

Taufa villager Tagicaki Serevi says it was the first time they experienced huge waves.

He says the waters entered the village and damaged some homes and outdoor kitchens for those living along the coast.

Serevi says those living along the coast were told to evacuate to higher ground before the waves reached the village and now the shoreline is full of rubbish.

The villager says the campaign to clean up and rebuild the damaged infrastructure has started around the village.

Serevi says they are grateful to be safe and no one has been harmed by this disaster.

Another villager, Komiami Kirisimasi, says what he saw last Saturday was similar to the tsunami movies they always watch on TV.

He says they are lucky that when the huge tidal waves hit the island it was still low tide and families residing along the coast had evacuated to higher ground.

Kirisimasi says they used the Ono Levu district school, post office and health center as evacuation centers.

He adds that since Saturday until yesterday, they have not experienced any rain as they are aware of acid rain following a volcanic eruption.

Kirisimasi says they are grateful that their farms and food sources were not damaged by the disaster.

Meanwhile, a villager in Vanuavatu says he was lucky on Saturday to get the call from the Lakeba police station advising them to move to higher ground due to the tsunami warning.

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