Thursday, December 10, 2009



It is hard for me to feel the full impact of the tsunami that hit Samoa in September after I left in August. Here are some stories and photos to give you some idea.

The Earth Quake

Preceding the tsunami, Samoa was struck by a huge early morning earthquake, which lasted about 90 seconds. Everything was jumping around. Although Samoa gets lots of earthquakes, there was nothing of this magnitude before. No one suspected the earthquake had triggered the tsunami 20 minutes later. There was no general alarm sounded.

The Erica Wales Story

Erica is a Peace Corps Volunteer who was awakened by the Peace Corps’ Medical Officer, Tuila Pati, and told. “Run Erica, Run for higher ground”. Erica ran from her seaside house as waves chased her up the hill. Fortunately, the Peace Corps staff had received a tsunmai warning from Hawaii, saving Erica’s life. Her house was totally destroyed.

Tsunami Photos

Note how high the water went up the side of the hill and how small the people are

Beachside Road



Note the number “9” painted on the road and beach fales.

Faofao Beach Resort



Searching for bodies

Some Peace Corps and Samoan Volunteers

Shane Tewilla's (Group 68) Beachside House

Fortunately Shane left Samoa before his house was destroyed.

No comments: