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American Samoa Tsunami: Toll may exceed 100

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by ByaseL, Sep 30, 2009.

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    ByaseL JF-Expert Member

    Sep 30, 2009
    Joined: Nov 22, 2007
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    A series of tsunamis smashed into the Pacific island nations of American and Western Samoa, killing possibly more than 100 people, destroying villages and injuring hundreds, officials said on Wednesday.

    US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in American Samoa, a US territory, and ordered federal aid to help recovery efforts, with a US C-130 military transport aircraft due to leave Honolulu for the tiny South Pacific islands.

    At least 24 people were killed and 50 injured, Governor Togiola Tulafono said from Hawaii, with the southern portion of the main Tutuila island "devastated".

    Television images showed flattened shorelines and homes torn apart by the waves, with large fishing boats hurled ashore.

    New Zealand said there were serious concerns about the neighbouring island nation of Tonga after a four metre wave hit its northern coast. Tongan officials said they feared as many as 10 people had been killed.

    A Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued after an eight magnitude undersea quake off American Samoa, with reports of a small tsunami reaching New Zealand and rising sea levels in several South Pacific island nations.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre cancelled its Pacific-wide warning, but Japan's Meteorological Agency issued a local tsunami warning for its east coast, warning of a possible small tsunami.

    The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre later issued an advisory that small tsunami waves had reached Hawaii, warning the waves could be dangerous to swimmers and boats.

    An Indian Ocean tsunami on December 26 2004, which killed about 230 000 people across 11 countries, is the worst on record.