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Samoan Boxer David Tua’s win boosts Samoan Tsunami Victims

Tua Win Boost Tsunami Spirits

Tua Win Boost Tsunami Spirits

Somoan Tsunami Disaster
Samoan Tsunami Disaster

Samoan Boxer David Tua is a national hero who many thought had seen better days, but last night around the country just about every television was tuned to the fight as he made a comeback against New Zealand boxer Shane Cameron in Hamilton, New Zealand.

His victory by a knockout seven seconds into round two pushed the tsunami right off the front page of Samoa’s main newspaper.

Tua told reporters that he cried a few tears when he learnt that his aunty had died in the tsunami, but he said he had to be strong, he had to be brave for the living, he said – those people who are suffering and those who lost loved ones.

Meanwhile, Tonga’s department of defence says it will be several more days before it can get the first shipment of international aid to the tsunami hit island of Niuatoputapu.

Samoa declared a national disaster after Tuesday’s giant 8.0 magnitude earthquake — the worst in 90 years — churned up waves between three and 7.5 metres high (10 and 25 feet) which pounded sleepy South Pacific villages and popular tourist resorts.

“I don’t think anybody’s going to be found alive at this point,” Guretti Wulf, head of Red Cross relief operations at Lalomanu village hospital, told AFP.

As emergency workers hauled bodies from the sea and the wreckage of crumpled buildings, families buried their loved ones quickly, often in unmarked graves.

Funeral processions wound their way through the streets of Apia as officials battled to count the dead in the Samoan capital’s overflowing mortuary.

In the once-idyllic tourism hotspot of Lalomanu, where the five dead children were found, the body of a Western woman was pulled from the rubble of a resort.

A New Zealand air force Orion flew up and down the coast looking for bloated bodies swept out to sea as it scoured the debris-strewn shoreline, officials said.

The disaster’s confirmed death toll across the South Pacific stood at 155, but disaster officials said they feared up to 150 people may have been killed in Samoa alone, which would bring the total number dead to 190.

At least 115 people are confirmed dead in Samoa, 31 were killed in neighbouring American Samoa and nine died in Tonga.

“The number of dead is higher,” a Samoan official said. “Some villagers have buried their relatives quickly.”

“There are still a lot of families searching in the mangrove areas and the Orion is undertaking the sea search. They are still finding more bodies.”

Tourism is Samoa’s largest industry, and travel industry representatives visiting the main island’s wrecked southeast coast said Friday about one-quarter of the tourist accommodations had been destroyed.

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