Samoan Surf Resort Destroyed: Irish surf camp manager's lucky escape

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Another incredible escape story from Samoa, where the tsunami is thought to have taken over 160 people from all the islands. This story, picked up in the Irish Independent, details the escape of Salani Surf Resort’s manager. First, though, here’s a message from her, via Facebook

“Hi everyone. Our staff have all been contacted, everyone from Salani village and Salani Surf Resort (incl. dogs) did evacuate safely. However we are extremely sad to say, that our WHOLE beloved resort and some of our Salani staff and village homes have been completely lost. Thank you again for your thoughts and support. We will keep everyone posted on an appeal to help those that lost everything. X”

Resort manager Triona O’Neill, Ozzy husband Nick Shannon, and baby, Eoin. Photo: Independent.ie

Miracle escape from Tsunami

Irishwoman, family and friend nearly swept away.

A Limerick woman narrowly escaped unharmed when a tsunami hit the Pacific islands of Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga.

Triona O’Neill from Clareview, in Limerick City, ran with her baby Eoin from the resort hotel where she is a manager. Last night, her brother Shane, a former Limerick hurler, said his 30-year-old sister ran for higher ground when it became clear what was happening.

Some 77 of around 100 people killed by tsunami died in Samoa, where Ms O’Neill manages the Salani Surf Resort on the main island of Upolu.

“They didn’t get any official warning. She felt the earthquake and it was as bad as anything she had ever experienced out there,” said Mr O’Neill.

“The assistant manager looked out the window and all he saw was the sea receding — it was just being sucked right out and all the coral reefs were exposed. So they knew what was happening — that the sea was being pulled out before coming back in again — and everyone ran.”

On any other day, Salani Surf Resort’s set-up was perfect, right by the water. Photo: www.surfsamoa.com

Ms O’Neill has been managing the resort hotel for four years along with her husband Nick (33), an Australian. The pair met eight years ago, while she was travelling, and later married.

“They got all the guests out but the scary thing was that the next door village, Salani, didn’t even know the wave was coming,” said Shane.

“There were little children walking to school so they shouted at them to warn them and then (the children) ran home and told the people.

Read the complete story at: http://www.independent.ie/national-news/miracle-escape-from-tsunami-1901126.html?start=1

The view from one of the resort’s ‘fales’ or bungalows, before the tsunami. Photo: www.surfsamoa.com

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    Does anyone know if the resort is back open as of 2011?

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