Saturday, May 28

Survivor from Tonga: “In the sea there is life and death, until you reach the shore. Then you know if you are alive or dead”

  • Drafting
  • BBC News World

A view of debris and broken structures on a beach

image source, Reuters


This is how Nuku’alofa beach, on Atata Island, where Lisala Folau is from, was left after the tsunami.

“When I was in the water, I remember Wolvesor eight times. My legs are crippled. I dove eight times and tried to catch my breath. the sea continued taking me here and there, dragging me to the bottom. at octoberawill I thought that if I sank again it would be because my arms were the only thing keeping me afloat. So the ninth time I dove, I went out and grabbed a log. That’s what kept me afloat“.

Survivor stories are slowly starting to trickle out of Tonga, after Saturday’s volcanic eruption and tsunami. One such story is that of Lisala Folau, a man who swam for more than a day to get out of the tsunami alive.

Folau, who is physically disabled, the described a la BBC how he clung to a log and then swam back to shore after being swept out to sea.

“I could hear my son calling from the ground and I didn’t want to answer so that he would not come toswim to meet me. Meanwhile, the waves kept taking me from here to there,” he recalled.

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