Update: Samoa earthquakes & tsunami
On 29 September 2009, tsunami waves caused by an undersea earthquake smashed into Western and American Samoa causing massive destruction within minutes. Entire villages were flattened. Three days later, two smaller earthquakes hit off Samoa and Tonga. The death toll currently stands at nearly 200 people with hundreds more people missing.
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Four tsunami waves caused by an 8.0 magnitude undersea earthquake smashed into Western and American Samoa on 29 September, 2009, causing massive destruction in a matter of minutes. Waves up to 20 feet struck the islands flattening entire villages and people were killed as they attempted to run to higher ground.
Two smaller earthquakes then hit off Tonga and Samoa on 2 October.
The death toll currently stands at 149 in Samoa, 31 in American Samoa and nine in Tonga. These figures are set to rise with hundreds of people reported missing.
Some 20 villages were destroyed in Samoa and scores flattened in nearby American Samoa. Thousands of people have been left homeless and hundreds are injured. Thousands remain in desperate need of assistance.
World Vision is assessing the situation and have identified likely immediate needs in hygiene and child protection. Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s National Director of Disaster Response, said: “stability for children in disasters is critical. They have to have something to relate to pre-disaster.”
World Vision's response
World Vision Australia has deployed staff who will work through partner organisations, to help distribute emergency items that are most needed by survivors. These items include personal hygiene items, tarps, blankets, mosquito nets and water purification tablets.
World Vision Australia's appeal for Samoa has now closed. Thank you to everyone who donated to make our relief efforts possible. To help us respond to future emergencies, we can still accept donations to our Emergency and Preparedness Fund, however please note that these funds will not be used in Samoa.
Children sponsored by Australians
World Vision has no child sponsorship programs in Samoa.