The ten tropical volcanic islands of Samoa are extremely vulnerable to storms and tsunamis. Almost half of its 220,000 inhabitants live in small coastal villages which are exposed to tropical storms, tsunami and rising sea levels. Many Samoans live a simple life and struggle to access essential services such as healthcare and clean drinking water. Chronic disease is posing a significant barrier to economic development, and domestic violence is rife.
Samoa is one of the Pacific nations that we work with in the Pacific Disaster Management Partnership, founded in 2009 to help vulnerable Pacific nations prepare for and respond to natural disasters.
Responding to disasters together
To help communities prepare for and respond to disasters, Samoa Red Cross and Australian Red Cross joined together in the Pacific Disaster Management Partnership in 2009.
We work with Samoa Red Cross to train staff, make sure relief supplies are well stocked, establish links with community-based health and first aid programs and prepare for disasters (taking climate change into account). The partnership is part of Australian Red Cross's long-term support for disaster management in the Pacific.
Pacific tsunami (Samoa and Tonga)
On 29 September 2009, an earthquake off American Samoa triggered a tsunami. Tonga (and its island of Niuatoputapu) was also affected. 157 people died in Samoa and Tonga and 6,075 people were affected by the earthquake.
Find out more about the Pacific Tsunami (Samoa and Tonga)