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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
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Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat
Lalotalie River Retreat

Double tragedy as couple washed away

By Jasmine Netzler-Iose

Double tragedy as couple washed away A couple from Samalaeulu, Savai’i, died early yesterday morning after attempting to cross the flooded and notoriously dangerous Mali’oli’o River in their car.

Assistant Police Commissioner Le’aupepe Fatu Pula confirmed yesterday the couple drowned in their vehicle at around 5am “when they attempted to cross the raging Maliolio River.”  The couple are Vaifale Siufua, 65, and his wife Mima, 60.

Le’aupepe said Vaifale was driving but he did not stop at the road block that villagers had set up to stop vehicles from crossing the Maliolio River.


“They didn’t stop like other vehicles but tried to cross and as a result their vehicle was swept away,” said Leaupepe.
He said attempts by villagers to save the couple were unsuccessful.

“They drowned in their vehicle.”
Village members rang Samoa Observer yesterday morning to report the unfortunate incident.

One man who identified himself as Maiava said a bus had just gone across the flooded river and “this man must have thought he would be able to make it as well, instead their car was swept away”.

A female from Samalaeulu, who did not wish to be named, told how villagers were puzzled why Vaifale would make this fatal mistake when he “has lived here all his life.” She said all the dead couple’s children live overseas.

Maiava told Samoa Observer the Mali’oli’o river is dry most of the time throughout the year and it only floods after very heavy and continuous rain.
Le’aupepe said the bodies were later recovered and transported immediately to the Tuasivi Hospital.

“Investigations continue, however it is clear the couple both drowned.”
Le’aupepe stressed the importance of being safe at all times, particularly when driving.

 

 

 

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