Miracle Tsunami Survivor

By fnmollyhunt 27th January 2022



A DISABLED man survived the Tonga tsunami by drifting and swimming between islands for more than 24 hours. Lisala Folau, who lived on the island of Atata, had been painting his house when the tsunami struck. He climbed a tree to try to escape the giant waves but was hit and swept out to sea.

Mr Folau was left drifting in the water in the dark, and ended up swimming and floating between two uninhabited islands, in a bid to find help. At one point, he even spotted a police patrol boat, but they didn’t see him. Eventually, a day later, he made it to the main island of Tongatapu, 13 kilometres from his home, where he was rescued. When the retired carpenter shared his journey with others, they couldn’t believe it, with his son Talivakaola calling it “a story I’ll never forget”.


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