1,000 HOMELESS, $38 MILLION DAMAGE IN SAMOA

News Release

Government of Samoa National Disaster Council Apia, Samoa

Sept. 30, 2009

On Tuesday 29th September 2009, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8 on the Richter Scale occurred at the depth of 18 kilometers at 17:48:11UTC (6:48:11am local time) at about 195 kilometers South of Apia. The earthquake generated a tsunami which hit Samoa with a wave run up of about 130 meters and 2.7 meters in height. A Declaration of Disaster was issued for the whole of Samoa.

Coastal areas of Samoa sustained damages with extensive destruction mainly to the South to South Eastern coast of the island of Upolu. Damages were mainly to resorts, family homes and community buildings, roads, power lines and water supply located along the coastline of the affected areas. In other areas, villages were completely destroyed. The number of displaced families is estimated at 1,000. The preliminary cost of infrastructural damage alone is estimated at around SAT$96.9 million [US$38.1 million] but expected to escalate.

The number of persons reported injured has been estimated at around 146, with the number of casualties at time of press at 110 with the death toll likely to increase. Search and rescue efforts are continuing to locate those who remain missing.

Overwhelming relief assistances both financially and in-kind have been received from overseas countries through the local High Commissioners and Embassies such as Australia, New Zealand, United States of America, Germany, China, Tokelau and many others, as well as Samoa’s own local communities, i.e. Church Organisations, Business sectors, Non-Governmental Organisations and Individuals.

Mobilization of the relief distributions particularly in the way of tents, tarpaulins, food stuffs, clothings and water is being managed by the Disaster Advisory Committee under the authorization of the National Disaster Council.

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