Man spends one day at sea – level 3
When a devastating tsunami hit Tonga, huge waves at the island of Atata washed Lisala Folau into the open sea.
Folau, who’s disabled, drifted and swam between islands for more than 24 hours before he eventually reached the main island of Tongatapu, about 13 kilometers away from his home island. Atata has been devastated by the tsunami; however, one of the few buildings left standing was the island’s Mormon church, where many of the villagers were safe. 57-year-old Folau said that he still hoped to go back to Atata one day because it was the place where he grew up.
Meanwhile, several countries sent ships and flights to the country. Hundreds of volunteers spent days clearing away ash by hand at the airport’s runway so the emergency planes could land. Communications have been damaged because there was only one undersea cable that connected Tonga to the outside world, and the cable ruptured in two places.
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