People in Tonga mark one year since massive tsunami

People in the South Pacific nation of Tonga have remembered the victims of a massive tsunami on the first anniversary of the disaster.

Churches across the predominantly Christian country held services on Sunday, exactly one year after an undersea volcanic eruption generated the tsunami of up to 15 meters.

The Tongan government says four people died. The tsunami also caused extensive material damage.

More than 1,000 people gathered at the country's largest Catholic church in the capital Nuku'alofa and observed a minute of silence at the start of the service.

A priest urged them to join hands and rebuild their communities.

A farmer who attended the service says the progress of the reconstruction makes him feel hopeful about a better future. He added that he hopes people will not forget the hard times and will work together to make progress.