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Aerial View of Ofu Island

American Samoa

This is Ofu Island in American Samoa from the plane. It's one of the most beautiful islands in the world and fortunately was spared major damage from the Tsunami. We were staying in the Vaoto lodge( the small row of buildings near the airstrip in the lower left corner) when the Tsunami hit. When the earthquake struck at 7am, huge rocks came tumbling down from the huge cliff directly above the lodge. After the shaking subsided, we grabbed our passports and water and got in the lodge pickup and drove the dirt road along the coast to the small gap between the main island and the sharp peak on the right. That's where we were when the Tsunami hit. The huge bulk of Olosega Island rising up and out of the picture at the far right seemed to block most of the force of the Tsunami and the coast where the lodge is only saw a 15 foot wave. The wave crossed the reef and came up the grass toward the lodge but didn't flood it. The Samoan people believe these remote islands are haunted by evil spirits, but on this day, it was a benevolent hand that seemed to be in control. Photo © copyright by Michael Anderson.