Maori Party co-leader, Tariana Turia, has today shared her profound grief at the loss of well over 100 lives in Western Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga in the wake of yesterday’s massive tsunami and the rapidly rising death toll tipping over 200 for Sumatra Island in Western Indonesia, with thousands still trapped under the rubble in the aftershocks of a violent earthquake.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to the peoples of the Pacific and of Indonesia, as they start to confront the horrific aftermath of the devastation that has shattered their lands”.
“We understand that the impacts of these events on the children and elderly are particularly severe” said Mrs Turia. “And we think, inevitably, of the heartache for family members living in Aotearoa, who are desperately trying to contact their loved ones”.
“The helplessness for families as they fail to make contact must be truly harrowing” said Mrs Turia.
“We call on all New Zealanders to reach deep, and express our love and compassion for families effected by these disasters in their homelands – to donate, to be a listening ear, to care”.
“The challenge for communities as they seek to restore and rebuild will be enormous, and we can play a significant role to support our neighbours in the months ahead” said Mrs Turia.
MFAT said people concerned about family members in Samoa should try to make contact with them in the first instance. Those with ongoing concerns can call MFAT on 04 439 8000, with as many contact details as possible.
New Zealanders planning to travel to Samoa for the rest of the school holidays were last night being advised to cancel until more was known about the aftermath of yesterday’s natural disasters.
How you can help
Pacific Cooperation Foundation
Deposits can be made at at any Westpac branch. All the money raised will go to the Samoan Government
– Make a secure online donation at redcross.org.nz
– Send cheques to the Samoan Red Cross Fund, PO Box 12140, Thorndon, Wellington 6144
– Call 0900 31 100 to make an automatic $20 donation
– Make a donation at any NZ Red Cross office
ANZ bank Make a donation at any ANZ bank branch, or donate directly to the ANZ appeal account: 01 1839 0143546 00 Oxfam
– Make a secure online donation at oxfam.org.nz
– Phone 0800 400 666 or make an automatic $20 donation by calling