Wellington, Sept 30 NZPA - Samoan resort owner Anna Tui Annandale, who was educated in New Zealand, drowned when the tsunami engulfed the utility truck carrying the family, says her son.
Tui Annandale, who went to Hamilton Girls' High School and Auckland University in the 1960s, created the upmarket Sinalei Reef Resort in 1996 with her husband Joe, on the south coast of Upolu.
"They got hit by the wave and my father said that it took them 200 or 300 metres," her son, Eddie Annandale, said at Auckland Airport today.
He told TV3's Campbell Live that his father was driving, with a wheelchair-bound relative in the cab and his mother on the back tray of the ute with the family's housegirl.
The two women on the back were missing when the vehicle came to a halt, and Mrs Annandale's body was found an hour and a half later.
Samoa's deputy prime minister Misa Telefoni -- who is a cousin of Mr Annandale -- said that resorts along that coast including the Annandales' property had been devastated.
"We've had very heavy damage all along the coast and most of the tourist resorts have been wiped out," he told Associated Press.
He said initial reports indicated the Annandales had been trying to save children in the village of Poutasi.
People killed and injured had only minutes to respond to the quake and the tsunami, Mr Telefoni said: "There was the (ground) shake and the ocean went out within five minutes".
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