On September 29, 2009 a tsunami generated by an 8.0 earthquake in the deep waters of Tongan Trench slammed the coastline of Samoa. The areas hit hardest were located along the southeast coastline of Upolu. Salani Surf Resort was completely wiped out by the series of strong waves estimated well over 10’.
Thanks to the quick action of resort managers Nick & Triona Shannon all guests, staff and animals were evacuated from the property in the short period between the quake and wave; approximately 20 minutes. Nick and Triona were also able to get a warning to Salani Village alowing just enough time for the village to evacuate the area closest to the coastline. If it were not for their quick action along with the assistance of trained boatman Ash Henderson and Spencer Robins both Salani Surf Resort and Salani Village would surely have suffered much loss of life.
However, there are thousands of people in Samoa who have lost their homes, businesses, all belongings and some loved ones. Large aid organizations and some smaller “grass roots” organizations were able to mobilize quickly to provide assistance to those most affected; one such group being the people of Raw Shakti Yoga who operate a facility in the highlands of Upolu. Their efforts continue to make a great difference in the lives of those most heavily affected. Donations to support their efforts can be made on line at Raw Shakti Yoga.
At this time the future of Salani Surf Resort is a bit uncertain, but it is the intention of major shareholders Christopher Donato and Sean Murphy to rebuild the property. As the resort was completely destroyed the opportunity exists for the property to be redeveloped with a different layout, but certainly in keeping with the architecture of Samoa and the desires of the people of Salani Village.
Salani Surf Resort has employed over 25 people from Salani Village for the past 10 years. The resort is the only local employer, so those now looking for alternate employment must ride the bus over one hour each way into the capital city of Apia.
Salani Surf Resort and WaterWays Travel have received an outpouring of support from the thousands of people who have visited Salani over the past 10 years; each mentioning how their hearts were touched by both the staff of Salani Resort and people of Salani Village; all wanting to be kept abreast of how they can help and what the future holds for Salani Resort. It is possible that over the coming months Salani Surf Resort may reach out to those interested in assisting in the redevelopment. This assistance could take many forms and include both investment opportunity and the assistance of skilled labor. If you are interested in being kept current on the evolving status of Salani Surf Resort and have interest in either potential investment or putting your skills to work in the building process please enter your detail in the form below. Please be specific in the notes detailing any specific skills or training you have that may be helpful in the redevelopment process.
We would like to thank all of those who have expressed concern for the people of Salani Surf Resort and Salani Village.