The Dallas Morning News has reported that Junior Siavii's family is safe after an earthquake struck halfway between American Samoa and Samoa, causing deadly tidal waves to wrack both islands, as well as the nearby island of Tonga.
Siavii, the Cowboys' backup nose tackle and native of Pago Pago, woke up Tuesday morning to scenes of utter devastation on his native American Samoa, where his family still resides. His sister, Zetta, who was visiting at the time, managed to call their mother, who said that the family, including 20 relatives, was okay.
Scores of others weren't so lucky.
All told, the earthquake--which registered an 8.3 on the Richter Scale--and resulting tsunami has killed at least 110 between the three South Pacific islands, with Samoa taking the biggest hit, with around 84 deaths reported thus far; around 24 deaths have been reported on American Samoa, and six have been reported on Tonga.
"They woke up around 7 to take my little nephew to school and the house was shaking," Siavii said, in the Dallas Morning News. "They were up when the quake it. They said it lasted about five minutes and they ran out of the house. My dad said they were the only family outside. Everybody else was sleeping, but one lady was at the bus stop and he said she was praying real loud."
According to the DMN, Siavii attributed his family's safety, in part, to the fact that they live on a high point on the island, which wasn't affected by the ensuing waters; however, the family's home did suffer damage from the earthquake.
"Most of my family that lives around the world called and said everybody was all right," Siavii continued. "I'm just happy right now and hoping for the best for everybody."