Pago Pago, Tutuila,

American Samoa



Attached is a picture of Gnomad in American Samoa visiting with Merritt, Lew and Oye of the vessel Sunshine.  American Samoa is a territory of the USA and sits north of Tonga in the South Pacific.  At  1748 Greenwich Mean Time (approximately 7:00 am local Samoa time) on September 29,  2009, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake  struck at a depth of 33 kilometers in the  Pacific Ocean at 15.3 S and 171.0 W, 80 nautical miles south of American Samoa and 160 nautical miles NE of Niuatoputapu, Tonga.

Approximately 20 minutes later a huge tsunami, generated by the earthquake, hit the island of Tutuila in American Samoa, killing many and leaving hundreds more homeless.  This lovely family has lost their boat (and home) but miraculously survived the wave which carried their boat overland while hitting utility poles and wires.

We were not in American Samoa at the time but in the isolated atoll of Suwarrow in the Cook Islands.  There the tsunami was not detected, despite being only 450 miles away from Tutuila where there is devastation in the low-lying villages.

Your friends of the yacht Carina,
Pago Pago harbor
American Samoa