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Samoa suffers setback on road to recovery -

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SHANE MCLEOD: The tsunami warnings across the Pacific caused panic in Samoa - a nation still
reeling after being struck by killer waves just a week ago.

Our correspondent Kerri Ritchie is in the capital Apia. I spoke to her amidst the scramble to
higher ground.

Kerri Ritchie in Samoa, I can hear sirens behind you. What's happening there in Samoa?

KERRI RITCHIE: Well I'm standing at the top of the Aggie Grey's Hotel right in the heart of Apia.
I'm here with the cameraman Simon and we're just climbing up to the very top up a stairwell. The
alarms have sounded about 10 minutes ago.

Pretty much confusion, I mean we're getting mixed messages here about what the size of this is. The
latest I heard was that it was four centimetres and that we didn't have much to worry about but
everyone's worried. I mean, racing down the main street in cabs, police sirens going, everyone,
Samoans are just running.

We hadn't heard anything until about 10 minutes ago but now it's just ... (sounds from background)
I'm with a group of tourists. I mean everyone's sort of a little bit worried, but I think it's
mainly the locals that have fled up higher ground because they've seen what happened out at
Lalomanu and they're just petrified that it could be about to happen again.

SHANE MCLEOD: So there's no official word on what's happening; you're just hearing those sirens
which are the tsunami warning system?

KERRI RITCHIE: I got a text message from another journalist here to say that it was going to hit, a
tsunami in the same area that the tsunami hit, but now, I can see the water from where I'm just
getting now, Shane.

Look, I can't see a wave or anything but there's about probably 30 people at the top of this hotel,
at the top of Aggie Grey's and we didn't get an official until the siren started but we were text
messaging each other and people were saying, you know, it's not a warning, it's a watch, and then
all of a sudden that changed and became a warning in a matter of minutes and that's when we grabbed
our gear and moved out the back of the hotel.

SHANE MCLEOD: This must be very traumatic for the people there in Apia.

KERRI RITCHIE: Absolutely. I mean, you know, yeah, if you see the damage at Lalomanu it's just wipe
out and I think everyone in Apia has been staying put here so they're not adding to the worry in
Lalomanu by getting out there but now it has moved to Apia.

We still don't know what size we're expecting. Some people said it would be, you know, four
centimetres but no one here seems to know. They're running up to the TV crews asking if we know any
better but we don't so, yeah, we're just standing and waiting.

SHANE MCLEOD: And what about government officials? Have you seen any police, any rescue workers,
anyone giving directions on what to do?

KERRI RITCHIE: No it's really the young guys that stand out the front of the hotel that just herded
everyone in and no, I think, I'm not sure where all the government people are or where all the
rescue crews are.

The main street was just chaos and of course the first thing to go down are phone lines and no one
can ring out to find out where anyone else is. So that was what happened last time, the phones went
down. So they've gone down again. People are text messaging each other, seems to be the easier way
of getting through, but no, Shane, no one here other than some scared tourists on top of a

SHANE MCLEOD: Our correspondent in Apia Kerri Ritchie and shortly after I spoke to her the Pacific
Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled its warnings across the region.