Thursday, October 1, 2009

Tsunami Update: Checking on Friends and Family

I have received a lot of requests to check on certain villages and on family members. I will do my best to gather all the information I can. If anyone reading this blog has any information, please pass it on through the comments.

Latest update, 13 October.

Update (3 October): I am completely re-editing this entry to reflect the new information.

People still searching are at the bottom of the page here.

Answers

Satitoa
Te'o and family are fine. We were told there are no deaths. Te'o was involved in church function when we visited and we did not speak with him. We did speak with a relative from Apia, who said the family was fine. People are looking for their phone number, so if you have it, pass it along.

Saleapaga
The entire FaoFao family is safe. I spoke with Koroseta (Sui) today and she is in good spirits considering. 


They are in the process of rebuilding. John and Don Bosco are building them a new bar and they hope to have it open this weekend. Next goal, beach fales. If you want to help with the recovery efforts here, just let me know and I can pass information along.


Saleaaumua

There is damage in this village, mostly from flooding. It did not see the extreme destruction seen in Lalomanu or Saleapaga. The family we were seeking was found inland and everyone is safe. Also the principal of the Aleipata District Secondary School is safe, as is her family. The school lost one member, a teacher named Miriam.

Poutasi
A RPCV from Poutasi received word that a dear friend of hers died in the tsunami. She is also hearing reports of 50 deaths in a village of just over 300 people.

Malaela
There was a great deal of damage to this village. When locating the fourth house past the Mormon Church, we had to use foundations for our house count, as three of the houses were missing. However, I have word that Alofa, Uni, Bon, Ropati and Analua are all fine.

Manono
Story in the Samoa Observer
here.

From the 3News NZ website:
01 Oct 2009 12:43p.m.
Yes, Manono Island was hit, pretty badly. I have spoken with family from Faleu & Lepuiai. Thankfully everyone made it up the mountain. No casualties. As for Salua, they weren't affected, only a little bit of Apai. You can't walk through from Lepuiai to Faleu as it covered in debris and massive rocks from the sea. The lagoon is empty with no water. At the moment they are trying to clean up but homes have been lost, there is nothing left, the sea took everything. Very sad but happy that everyone on Manono Island are safe and well. No doubt they will band together and help each other out. Of all the boats from the island there is only 2 left. The churches are still standing and some houses are still erect. The Grave of 99 stones is gone, graves on the shoreline are all gone. It'll be a long process to get Manono Island back to it's original state but God will be them all the way.

Lalomanu
This comes from AJ: NZ Herald website today says Lydia, Joe and all staff and guests at Litia Sini are safe. Big relief to all former guests, they are such lovely peaple. But they have lost nieces and nephews according to a report from Samoa yesterday- (apparently Lydia was interviewed on Samoa Radio)

Many people who stayed there in the past are interested in helping the family that was devastated by the tsunami. AJ tells us on the blog we can "Try emailing Monique Faleafa who is a colleage of the daughter of a friend of mine and knows Ben Taufua, she can give you an account number to put money into if you want, also they were filling a container with donated goods but I think it's already sailed. monique.faleafa@leva.co.nz"


Faleaseela
Faleaseela is fine. Jane and Oslen at the river fales in Lalotaile are safe, the fales are intact and open for business.

Utulaelae
We went to Utulaelae and met people who say they are part of the Hunt family. The woman we spoke to has the last name of Hunt through marriage. They said that Al Hunt evacuated inland and was not there, but is fine. The names of the people we met are Tavati, Aniva, and Asuelu. The village appeared to suffer damage from flooding. We were told there were no deaths in the village. The Red Cross was there when we were.

Aufaga
Is set high on a cliff and was not touched by the tsunami.

Papauta and Alafua
Both villages are on the north side and high up the mountain. They are fine.

Government Buildings in Apia
All of Apia is fine. However, rumor has it the new Development Bank building was condemned due to earthquake damage. This has not been confirmed.

Faleula
I can tell you that this side of the island say no effect. Some teachers from Wesley College and Laumua o Punaoa lost family members on the south side and I mentioned the car wreck that took the life of a Wesley student. Rev. Logopati Mataafa is the pule at Wesley College now (he and his family were in New Zealand for years, but returned late last year). Logopati, Lofi and their children are fine. Logopati's brother is the pulenuu of a village on the south side that was hit, however, my understand is that his family is safe as well. To reach Wesley College email:
wesleycollege@lesamoa.net.

Vaimoso
St. Mary's College is fine.

People Still Searching 
(Please leave answers in the comments or email to sara.a.reeves [at] gmail [dot] com)

Savaii
"I am trying to get info about my daughter Carmen Guadalupe Mejia.The only info I got from my brother is she is staying with his wife's brother who is a pastor named Vincent Soiomalii on Savaii."

Saanapu
This village is further west than the information I have. I know that Coconuts in Maninoa was destroyed, but Saanapu is further west than that. I have reports that there were no deaths west of the Cross Island Road.

Pata Falelatai
I believe is the village I know only as Falelatai. I have not heard anything out of that side of the island. All rescue efforts are focused on the south east tip.

Lotofaga in Safata
A RPCV, who lived there and worked with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment and the Marine Protected Area (MPA) project, is seeking information on those living in Lotofaga-tai at the MPA center.

Apia
Telesia Ieremia at the front desk at Apia Central from the village of Maasina.

Maasina
Volunteers are asking after their training village.

Satitoa
The phone number for the Te'o family.

— Sara

8 comments:

Cheri said...

Thank you Sara for the updates! Glad to hear that Faleula is ok and hopefullly with Saanuapu being more West, they are ok too.

foundthings said...

THANK YOU Sara for checking and all the sharing on here, it really helps all of us who have family stateside to feel connected somehow.

paul said...

Hi, my name is Paul Kim and I am trying to find any information on the Hunt family in Utulaelae.

The head of the family's name is Al Hunt. He is a friend of mine. Does anyone know if the village is alright?

Please send them my regards, and tell them I miss them and will visit them soon.

angie said...

Am hoping you can provide me with information on Logopati Mataafa and his family. He at one point was the principal at Wesley College. If you have any information please let me know. I was a teacher who stayed with his family years ago and have always carried them close to my heart. I just pray that they are safe.

Thanks.
Angie Oakley

Lili said...

I found this about Manono on the 3News NZ website

Leiataua Fiona
01 Oct 2009 12:43p.m.
Yes, Manono Island was hit, pretty badly. I have spoken with family from Faleu & Lepuiai. Thankfully everyone made it up the mountain. No casualties. As for Salua, they weren't affected, only a little bit of Apai. You can't walk through from Lepuiai to Faleu as it covered in debris and massive rocks from the sea. The lagoon is empty with no water. At the moment they are trying to clean up but homes have been lost, there is nothing left, the sea took everything. Very sad but happy that everyone on Manono Island are safe and well. No doubt they will band together and help each other out. Of all the boats from the island there is only 2 left. The churches are still standing and some houses are still erect. The Grave of 99 stones is gone, graves on the shoreline are all gone. It'll be a long process to get Manono Island back to it's original state but God will be them all the way.

Anonymous said...

I am an RPCV from 1994-1996 and I really appreciate you keeping us posted on the tsunami recovery situation. Our training village was Au'faga and we are anxious to hear about the survival rate and destruction there. I also wonder if I can contact my former school, Saint Mary's at Vaimoso. I would like to contribute to recovery efforts but would like a recommendation as to what is needed most now and over the long term. Are there organizations that would get aid directly to the Samoan People more than others? Thank you so much! My heart and soul is with you and the people of Samoa! Soifua, Anna

Vaitafe said...

My prayers go out to everybody in Samoa.God bless everyone..I am trying to get info about my daughter Carmen Guadalupe Mejia.The only info I got from my brother is she is staying with hi wife brother who is a pastor from Western Samoa. Please help me.My contact info is Vai(Marina)Tatupu 4156788075 email tatupumoe@yahoo.com or vtatupu@gmail.com Thanks.....

aj said...

Thank you so much for all your efforts. It must be so hard having gone to Samoa to work as a teacher and finding yourself in the middle of a national disaster