Relief news update from Samoa - 15 Dec 2009  
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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Samoa.
On September 29, a massive magnitude-8.0 temblor struck underwater between the islands of Samoa and American Samoa. The quake triggered a wall of waves several meters high that took nearly 200 lives on Tonga, American Samoa, and especially Samoa.

Many homes and cars were swept away as people only had a few minutes to flee the sudden waters.
Upon hearing of this tragedy, Supreme Master Ching Hai immediately conveyed her heavy heart and tears while donating US$30,000 to assist the most afflicted.

This amount could acquire US$247,000 in supplies if bought in the United States, based on the region's cost of living.Our Association’s relief team from Australia looked into the situation and found that the people of Tonga and American Samoa had been well cared for by the governments of New Zealand and the United States.

Covering their own travel and related expenses of approximately US$3,000, they went to the populous Samoan island of Upolu and arrived at a 20-kilometer stretch of coast where settlements and resorts had been almost entirely wiped out.

However, despite aftershocks and another tsunami warning that occurred on the day the team arrived, they found the Samoan people recovering due to their deep love of God and strong community support, even though many had lost children or elders.

Working with the local Disaster Management Office (DMO), which was very well organized and had promptly seen to the storm victims’ more immediate medical, shelter and food needs, our Association’s relief team focused on longer term necessities.

They were thus able to supply rebuilding materials such as tools, gardening utensils, hammers, nails, measuring tape and gloves. Together with the DMO personnel, they distributed these items to each village along with food and water supplies.

Our appreciation, Samoa’s Disaster Management Office and personnel for your timely assistance. We are grateful to Supreme Master Ching Hai for her attentive care and comfort to the distressed disaster victims, as we also thank our Association members for their wholehearted initiatives to help.

Wishing the storm afflicted a swift return to productive day-to-day lives as such traumatic situations are minimized through humanity’s gentler regard for all beings. Please tune in to Supreme Master Television for the second part of this relief report on Noteworthy News.