Maria LeotaAS Maria Leota drove through a devastated village in Samoa yesterday someone tried to give her a severed hand to take to hospital.

The former Rockhampton woman apologised to the man and kept driving, only to then hear rescuers had found a pregnant woman buried in sand.

The horror stories kept on coming as Mrs Leota, 38, manoeuvred through the carnage on her way to donate her party hire business's equipment to anyone in need.

Yesterday Mrs Leota spoke about the 8.3 magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hurled massive waves at the shores of Samoa and American Samoa, flattening villages and sweeping cars and people out to sea.


Responding to the destruction she took all her generators and lights to the hospital and set up marquees for police and rescuers - she had already given much-needed blood.

At least 148 people have died in the natural disaster, including four Australians - one a six-year-old child.

Mrs Leota said she woke on Wednesday morning to the earthquake.

She said she thought the house was going to fall and when she looked outside her car was rocking sideways.

“It was a long earthquake, a violent one - it really shook quickly for about 30 seconds,” she said.

“Then the aftershocks kept going for 12 hours and we kept thinking it was going to start again.

“As soon as the earthquake finished I knew there would be a tsunami warning. Mrs Leota immediately decided not to send her son to school. read more>