"It was the most intense earthquake I have ever experienced," Cummings told Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith on the phone. "It just kept going, and just wouldn't stop."
As the ground stood still following the 8.3 magnitude quake, Cummings and his colleagues thought the worst might just be over. Then the killer waves came. The tsunamis havein American Samoa and neighboring Samoa.
"As soon as it went down we tried to get some information as to whether there was a tsunami… We just told everybody to do a vertical evacuation," said Cummings, urging people to climb stairs, hills or mountains out of caution.
"We looked out the window, and boom, there it was," he said the first of four massive waves came roaring toward his office like a freight train.
"There was no time... Even another five minutes would have been great. It was just very quick, very sudden."