Now Commenting On:

Tuiasosopo's family OK after tsunami

Tuiasosopo's family OK after tsunami

SEATTLE -- The tsunami that crashed into American Samoa hit home for Mariners infielder Matt Tuiasosopo.

He has several relatives living in Avatia, a small village in American Samoa.

"We have been in touch with my grandpa and their village came through OK," Tuiasosopo said of the tsunami that inundated the South Pacific Island.

The Associated Press reported that victims "are everywhere" in a hospital near a hard-hit area and the dead could number up to 120. The Samoan government has not yet confirmed fatalities, but officials in American Samoa say at least 14 people have been killed.

"We have a lot of relatives over there, but we think they're all OK," Tuiasosopo said. "Besides talking to my grandpa, we got an e-mail from a family member on my grandma's side. I have never been there, but my sister told me the village is protected by a little cove. It's a good thing."

The tsunami was triggered by a massive 8.0 magnitude earthquake in the Pacific Ocean on Tuesday morning. Four waves measuring 10 to 15 feet high barreled into the island, reaching up to a mile inland.

"When I first heard about it, I couldn't believe the magnitude of the earthquake," Tuiasosopo said. "My dad [Manu] told me that if there was a tsunami, we should keep everyone in our prayers."

Avitia is located northwest of Pago Pago, the capital city of American Samoa.

Both sets of Tuiasosopo's grandparents were born in American Samoa, and his father is one of the most famous athletes from the island. He played college football at UCLA and professionally for the Seahawks and 49ers.

"Whenever I'm home, I'm on the Internet reading the stories and looking at pictures of the destruction," Matt said. "Some of the villages are completely wiped out. It definitely hits home."

Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español