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Samoa, Pacific tsunami


Samoan Ruta survived the tsunami waves that struck several South Pacific islands. She lost four children to the disaster.


A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake caused tsunami waves that struck several South Pacific island nations early on September 30, 2009.

The tsunami took more than 150 lives and many of the villages and resorts on the southern coast of Upolu island were wiped out.

Habitat’s response
Habitat for Humanity New Zealand approached the Samoan government and offered to be the primary rebuilder of new homes using New Zealand volunteers. By mid-November, house plans were drawn, suppliers chosen and volunteer teams booked. A Habitat Resource Center was established as Habitat’s base of operations and served as storage for tools and materials and a prefabrication factory. By June 2010, HFH New Zealand had sent 600 volunteers to rebuild 91 new homes, or Fales.

Read more about Habitat’s response to tsunami in Samoa in the Habitat for Humanity Disaster Response Shelter Catalogue.

How you can help
Please donate today to support Habitat’s efforts in response to this devastating Pacific tsunami and disasters like it.