Sunday, 24th June 2018

Waiting for the tsunami

Posted on 11. Mar, 2011 by Lan Marie in Tsunami

Tawaieta Taupili (59) is sitting at the ground floor by the back door in the government house. Her husband doesn’t want to go upstairs. Ten meters from the glass doors of the brick house is the lagoon and behind that, the open sea.

•    I want to sit here and be the first one to take the waves, Tawaietas husband says.

He is an old seaman and used to the sea, but now he is walking on crutches.

•    I think he feels better down here, Taiwaieta says. Here he can move around himself, upstairs he will be trapped.

Taiwaieta is here with three grandchildren and two of her daughters. She is scared, but mostly concerned about the young children.

•    I have one 5 year old, a girl at three and a baby that is only nine months old, she says.

Taiwaieta has made sure that her children and grandchildren are safe on the second floor. She has spread the traditional pandanus mat and plans to spend the night at the government house.

•    My son came and informed us about the tsunami. He said that the wave would hit at 1.30 am, but now it is 1.50 am already…I don’t know when it is going to hit.

•    I took three of my lava lava (piece of material that you wrap around like a skirt) and packet three bags of food and water, tea and dry biscuits. My son was laughing of me, but I wanted to be sure that we would have enough, says Taiwaieta.

Taiwaieta says that she is scared, but that she thinks that it might not be too big since Japan is so far away.

•    I don’t have experiences with tsunamis, but I have been hearing about stories from the Indian ocean and Samoa in 2009. I pray to God that it wont´ come, she says.

The tsunami alarm was called off on Tuvalu around 3 am in the morning. No wave hit Funafuti, the capital city. A man passing by our lodge said that two small waves hit the most northern island Nanumea, but that there was no damage done.

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27 Responses to “Waiting for the tsunami”

  1. Laura Corlew 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Thank you for this update! I haven’t been able to find news from a lot of other places. This is very good to hear.

    • Florent Baarsch 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

      Welcome. We now just hope that everybody in the Pacific is safe.

  2. Anonymous 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    The thoughts of our brothers and sisters in Tuvalu are in our hearts and minds at this time. The Uk stands by you!

  3. Andi Caswell 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    My thoughts and prayers are with all on the Tuvalu islands.
    My brother in law was Penehuro Hauma (my sister was Gillian his wife who died).
    My nephew Kataoatu and his family are on Funafuti.
    Please can you tell me if all is OK as I have heard nothing since this morning and am so worried.
    Kindest regards.

    • Florent Baarsch 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

      Dear Andy,
      As far as we know, everybody on Funafuti is safe and sound. The Tsunami spared Tuvalu, we are lucky even if we got scared.

  4. Tue Arnkil 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    We have been following you as close as we could all day. As we understand it, there has been no damage to you. Thank God you’re in the clear.
    Warm thoughts to you all in Tuvalu from the Kleis Family in Denmark

  5. julia 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Gob bless you Tuvalu, our thoughts in the UK are with you,

  6. Michael 11 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    We are so relieved to know that Tuvalu was not affected by the tsunami. Peace!

  7. Hilary macleod 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Very relieved to hear that tu8 escaped the worst of the tsunami. Always in my thoughts.

  8. moni & nico 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    we ve been thinking of all our dear friends in tuvalu. somehow we just knew you ll be fine!!! However, we are very glad to know you are!

  9. moni & nico 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    We ve been thinking about all our dear friends in tuvalu. we ve been there with you for a tsunami warning and remember it very well. somehow, this time, we just knew you d be fine. however, it is good to read that really nothing happend!
    Thank you so much for the update!

  10. mah 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    really? no tsunami in Tuvalu? im happy cuz this but im sad when i think that a lot of people are suffering cuz this

  11. Fr. Peter 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Thank God! And thank you for giving us this news and being a source of information for the concerned.

  12. Erik Arnkil Jørgensen 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Vi er lettede over at høre, at tsunamien ikke ramte Tuvalu.En hilsen til alle i Tuvalu og specielt til Kleisfamilien.

  13. Dr. T.T. 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Thank God Tuvalu has not been affected by the tsunami. I was very worried and I prayed that God will help you. I have been to Tuvalu and will return soon. As a marine biologist I too am very concerned about the global climate change affects on Tuvalu. I love Tuvalu and the South Pacific having lived and worked there. God Bless and keep you safe! With all my love…TT

    • samantha guillon 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

      thank God Tuvalu is ok

    • Gloria 13 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

      Yes have worked there too and Tuvalu always comes to mind when there is word of a pacific tsunami x

  14. samantha guillon 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    I love you Tuvalu!

  15. Dana 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Thank u sooooo much for the news. My husband and me are very relieved nothing happend to the Tuvaluans…u seem to be the only one who knows something about it and posted it…thank u soo much for updating us. hugs from Germany

  16. Gerry Wardell 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Veronica, Anna and I have been thinking of all our friends on Nanumea (Tuvalu) and hope that you have been safe from the tsunami. Please let us know if anyone has any news from Nanumea.

  17. James Clark 12 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Very relieved to hear that all is well. Thanks for keeping us updated. Your website was the only place I could find any information.

  18. Gloria 13 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Thank God Tuvalu is safe. I have tried everywhere to get news about you but only news of US, Aus and Chile! God bless you all X

  19. Christine THILLET 13 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Thank you for this update!
    From France, I am relieved to know that Tuvalu was not affected by the tsunami.
    So you, I now just hope that everybody in the Pacific is safe.

  20. Penny 13 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    So glad that everyone is OK. Thank you for this news – like others who have commented, this was the only place I could find information about how the tsunami affected Tuvalu

  21. Anon 14 March 2011 at %I:%M %p #

    Glad to hear you guys were ok.