The Santa Barbara County chapter of the American Red Cross is sending eight volunteers to American Samoa in response to the tsunami that struck earlier this week. An 8.0-magnitude earthquake beneath the floor of the Pacific Ocean generated 20-foot waves and devastated the U.S. territory and neighboring islands Tuesday morning. According to recent news reports, the tsunami killed approximately 30 people on the island, and well over 100 on nearby Samoa island. Director of Emergency Services Paul Myers said the local volunteers were quick to offer their services, despite the obstacles they will invariably face, such as a lack of electricity and running water on the island. “We got quite a large volunteer base who are really keen to help out wherever they can,” Myers said. “We got the request last morning that they need help, and considering the pretty extreme conditions, we’re fortunate that they stepped up to the plate.” The eight volunteers attended a briefing on Wednesday where they learned more about the current conditions and the culture of the region. According to Myers, the eight local volunteers will be joined by 42 other volunteers from around the country and will most likely be running shelters on the island, which has a population of approximately 60,000. Myers said two of the volunteers left yesterday morning, and the remaining six will be deployed shortly. Fourth-year global studies major Emily Figueiredo, who serves as co-president of the American Red Cross at UCSB, said her organization is eager to assist with the relief effort as well. However, only Red Cross members with certain qualifications can volunteer for on-site aid. “All of the people being sent over are members trained for disaster, so unfortunately we can’t contribute in that way,” Figueiredo said. “[But] we would love to help in any way possible, because it’s such a travesty. We’re holding our first meeting next week, and we’ve started talking about holding a fundraiser.” State officials had warned local residents to steer clear of the beach on Tuesday in case the earthquake created strong currents or heightened waves along the Santa Barbara coastline. To date, however, only minor wave fluctuations have occurred.