Samoa Joe at a Total Nonstop Action Wrestling event in Louisville, Ky. on April 20, 2007
Samoa Joe, a professional wrestler with family ties to American Samoa which was struck by a deadly tsunami wave Tuesday evening, is using Twitter to lead an effort to send support and donations to the countries stuck by the disaster.
As the news of the natural disaster spread Tuesday, Samoa Joe, in Germany for a wrestling tour, posted to his Twitter feed, "Just read about the earthquake in Samoa ... really have my hands tied trying to find any info in Germany ... updates appreciated. Tons of family."
He followed with a report that his family was OK, "Updates from my family in Samoa. Everyone accounted for but the damage is staggering. Any good will sent my way paid off. Thank You." And then he added a report on the death toll from a family member, "My Auntie says the body count is in the hundreds. We live in Nuuili little flooding for those who are wondering."
After getting reports Samoa Joe quickly posted a call for relief help to Twitter, "Please give to help in Samoa's recovery. Please I implore you to help at http://bit.ly/1HDk6V." The URL directs users to a Red Cross page where people can donate to the International Response Fund.
Samoa Joe, whose real name is Nuufolau Joel Seanoa, has been a professional wrestler since 2000 and is currently the Total Nonstop Action Wrestling X Division Champion. He was born in Southern California and his family started a Polynesian dance troop called Tiare Productions . According to his biography on Slam Sports.com , at the age of 5 he performed as part of the opening ceremonies for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of American Samoa and caused a tsunami warning to be issued for numerous islands in the Pacific, including New Zealand and Hawaii. The Wall Street Journal reported that Samoan villages were wiped out by the massive wave that resulted from the earthquake.