The most recent eruption occurred from Mt Matavanu on Savai’i, located within a string of volcanic craters leading to the highest peak in Samoa, Mt Silisili. The eruption occurred between 1905 to 1911 and led to the evacuation of entire villages which were destroyed.
However, because the lava flow was very slow-moving, all people were able to safely escape to the island of Upolu. The skeletal remains of a church and the Virgin's Grave remain at the Saleaula Lava Fields as a reminder of the force of the flow.
Samoa’s volcanic activity has left behind many fascinating landforms, particularly on Savai’i, which has huge lava tubes and spectacularly rugged coastlines of black volcanic rock to explore.