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Sept. 29: 11th anniversary of 2009 earthquake and tsunami

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Today marks the 11th anniversary of the 2009 earthquake — followed by a tsunami — that claimed the lives of 34 people in American Samoa, 3 in Tonga, and more than 100 in Samoa.

The COVID-19 restrictions have hampered any major government memorial service. With Samoa and Tonga on the other side of the international dateline, both countries remembered their loved ones yesterday.

This Samoa News file photo shows residents at Pago Pago Park amid debris — including a boat and a vehicle — in the aftermath of the deadly Sept. 29, 2009 tsunami. [photo: Samoa News file]

This Samoa News file photos shows Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga, assisted by his security officer, during the laying of the wreath for the government organized ceremony  last year marking the 10th anniversary of the September 29, 2009 tsunami at the Veterans Memorial Monument at Tafuna Industrial Park. The empty chairs are for each of the 34 victims of the tsunami in American Samoa. [photo: Samoa News file]

This Samoa News file photo shows a vehicle washed up next to a damaged Samoan fale at Leone village following the devastating tsunami of Sept. 29, 2009. Leone and Pago Pago villages were the hardest hit villages from the tsunami. [photo: Samoa News file]

This Samoa News file photo shot from the second floor of the Pago Pago Plaza shows a lot of debris as people venture on the road in Pago Pago the late morning of Sept. 29, 2009 just after the massive tsunami struck American Samoa. [photo: Samoa News file]

The first sign of the tsunami as water fountains out at the main dock in Fagatogo shortly after the earthquake. [SN file photo]