In September of 2009, a tsunami slammed into the south coast of the main island of the independent country of Samoa. Many people lost their lives and many others had all their possessions swept away.
According to the United Nations, at least 150 people were killed and hundreds went missing in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga islands. The highest death toll was on Upolu island in Samoa (formerly Western Samoa). On the south and west coasts, the wave caused extensive property damage and displaced thousands of families.