Fresh quake rattles Pacific islands

Tonga and Samoan islands still reeling from deadly tsunamis.

    Rescuers are still working to recover bodies washed out to sea by the tsunamis [Reuters]

    in video

    Hope for Samoa tsunami survivors fades

    The epicentre was 377km from American Samoa capital Pago Pago, which was hard-hit by a magnitude 8 earthquake and tsunamis on Tuesday.

    Tonga is west of the international dateline and a day ahead of the Samoan islands.

    On edge

    The confirmed death toll from Tuesday's tsunamis stood at 149 in Samoa, 31 on American Samoa and nine in neighbouring Tonga.

    Officials in Samoa fear the tsunamis destroyed whole towns on outlying islands [Reuters]
    Dozens of aftershocks have rocked the region since Tuesday, keeping residents on edge as they try to pick up the pieces in the wake of the tsunami.

    Many of the dead have been buried in unmarked beachside graves as the gruesome task of recovering bodies from destroyed villages continues.

    On Samoa, survivors have been clearing debris and beginning to rebuild their shattered homes, but others remained in nearby mountains afraid to return to the coast.

    Officials fear whole towns have been destroyed on outlying islands and hundreds of people remain missing. Thousands of others have been made homeless and hundreds injured.

    Disease fears

    Tuilaepa Lupesoliai Sailele Malielegaoi, the Samoan prime minister, was near tears on Wednesday night as he urged the tiny South Pacific island nation to rebuild, calling on church leaders to pray as Samoans grieved.
     

    Send your pictures

    Send us your videos, pictures and comments
    Recovery workers have been frantically trying to recover bodies decomposing in the South Pacific heat.

    "The bodies we recovered today were not a pretty sight and that is why we're trying to work hard and fast as we can," said Seve Tony Hill, Samoa's fire chief.

    "Most of the bodies we've come across are young kids and babies, who were already in a bad state of decomposition, it just makes you want to cry," Hill told local media.

    Aid officials have warned of disease outbreaks with more than a thousand people crowded into makeshift camps around Apia and a lack of fresh water.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    Double standards: 'Why aren't we all with Somalia?'

    More than 300 people died in Somalia but some are asking why there was less news coverage and sympathy on social media.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Kobe Steel: A scandal made in Japan

    Japan's third-largest steelmaker has admitted it faked data on parts used in cars, planes and trains.