I remember that morning like it was yesterday. I was woken in the early hours and told to hop online – something big was happening in the Samoan world. I didn’t realize until I saw the quick and frantic messages in the One Samoana forums that the news wasn’t good. A powerful earthquake. A tsunami.…
1Samoana Upolu Correspondent Reports via cellphone
The big-clean up has begun in Samoa after four tsunami waves, the first one reportedly measuring 6 metres, slammed into the South – Southeast areas of the islands of Upolu and Savaii on Tuesday 29 September 2009 at 6.45am ST.
The tsunami followed an 8.3 magnitude earthquake with its epicenter 200 metres out at sea and approximately 40 metres below sea level. Hundreds of families from coastal villages were evacuated inland and have remained displaced since Tuesday.
International relief units from New Zealand, Australia and the United States arrived to the island nation on Wednesday and swiftly moved to assist the government in providing food and supplies to the areas hardest hit. Samoa Prime Minister, Tuilaepa Sailele Lupesoliai Malielegaoi and a team of government officials were ferried across to Savaii this morning to view first hand the areas on the big island, which up until now has not effectively been assessed.
Talking to international media, Prime Minister Tuilaepa, who arrived home early from scheduled meetings with the United Nations, said “Thankfully the alarm sounded on the radio as it gave people time to climb to higher ground. But not everyone escaped. So much is gone.”
“So many people are gone. I am saddened by all the loss.”
The areas on Savaii which would have felt the full effects of the tsunami would be Vaitoalua, Taga and Salailua. Moreso, Savaii would also have received major damage from the earthquake which preceeded the tsunami. Eyewitnesses from Savaii, who arrived on Upolu via private vessels, told 1Samoana that houses were down in almost all villages on Savaii. Some people did not know where to run. “We saw the wave coming, we ran towards the mountain. The whole time we were running up the mountain we were afraid that the volcano was going to erupt,” said one. [FULL STORY]
At 8.55am (NZ time) today, we received report that a tsunami hit Samoa.
At 9.05am, we heard that a 1.57m Tsunami wave hit Pago Pago American Samoa, heading 100m inland.
At 9.13am, deaths were reported. News came in that Fagaloa and Lalomanu were hit bad.
At 9.24am, we found out that pretty much the whole of Apia had been evacuated to higher ground.
We opened up a discussion in the village for natives to post reports from loved ones in Samoa, and to keep everyone updated about official news, mostly from the radio.
I’ll be compiling the information we received there into categorized posts here, so you can more easily find the information you’re looking for.
God Bless Samoa.
Tuesday 29th September 2009.
If the Appearance of Maria/St Theresa and the Burning of the Kitano was any indication of something about to happen..not to mention the Road Switch – we had thought that the ‘bad things come in three’ was over.
Until the morning.. I fell out of bed. (and I was not wasted)
7 am-ish (because my clock is always wrong I’m not sure what the real time was)
– First Earthquake – I fell out of bed, walked outside of the house where my Grandma and my cousin were standing. I went back to bed. (seriously, minor earthquakes happen every couple of months) and I was tired. I just finished watching the last disc of Gossip Girl’s Season 2. I was kinda pissed off that Chuck took ages to finally tell Blair that he loves her. (We don’t get GG on T.V and I’ve had the Dvd’s for awhile) Now, I will never forget it…