When I got a phone call from my friend Angie, who I just returned from a surf trip to Fiji with, my heart stopped. “Dustin, there was a 8.3 earthquake in Samoa this morning. Get in touch with Kiki.” I immediately texted her. The next ten minutes were agonizing waiting for a response. My good friend, who I’ve surfed Maui with for the past eight years, was staying at a surf resort in Samoa that week. She texted me, “I’m O.K. Made to high ground.” Those were the six best words I’ve heard all year. Throughout the day, we texted from time to time. “I can’t wait to get in the air.” While she waited in the airport, I got another text, “Tsunami coming, running for mountains.” Two minutes later I got another text, “False alarm”. I can’t imagine the life threatening anxiety in those last minutes, much less the entire catastrophic day. She lucked out and boarded a flight to New Zealand and the following evening she landed safely in Maui to be reunited with her beautiful six year old son, Keone, boyfriend and friends in Maui. Thank God she survived the day. She mentioned that if she were to have left 3 minutes later, she would not be alive today. I’m sure her relationship with the ocean will be forever changed. Life is so fragile and the ocean so powerful.
One Response to “Samoan Tsunami Survivor – “Kiki” Martins”
There have been studies and some attempt to create tsunami waves as a weapon. In World War II, the army in New Zealand trialled explosives in the area of today’s Shakespear Regional Park to create small tsunamis, an attempt which failed.