Samoa tsunami kills ‘at least 20’

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A tsunami caused by a powerful earthquake in the South Pacific has killed at least 20 people and injured 50 in Samoa, local media report.

To view dictionary popup window put your cursor on the blue scripture words.
Earthquakes

“For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakesStrongs 4578: seismos, sice-mos´; from 4579; a commotion, i.e. (of the air) a gale, (of the ground) an earthquake:—earthquake, tempest.
Strongs 4579: seio, si´-o; apparently a primary verb; to rock (vibrate, properly, sideways or to and fro), i.e. (generally) to agitate (in any direction; cause to tremble); figuratively, to throw into a tremor (of fear or concern):—move, quake, shake.
, in divers places.”
—Matthew 24:7

Dr Lemalu Fiu of the main hospital in the capital, Apia, said the number of casualties is expected to rise as the injured arrive from coastal areas.

An 8.3-magnitude quake struck at 1748 GMT, generating 5.1ft (1.57m) waves in Apia and Pago Pago, American Samoa.

A Pacific tsunami warning was issued, but it has now been cancelled.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre (PTWC) said the quake struck at a depth of 33km (20 miles) some 190km from Apia.

Radio New Zealand quoted Samoan residents as saying that villages were inundated and homes and cars swept away. Some of the victims in Samoa are believed to have been children.

“I can confirm there is damage, I can confirm there are deaths and I can confirm there are casualties,” a Western Samoa police spokeswoman told Reuters.

“I cannot say any more at the moment.”

“ The water was swirling like a spa pool outwards [towards] the rim of the lagoon and in a few seconds the water sunk ”

Ula Osasa-Mano Eyewitness
Samoalive News said local radio stations had been receiving reported of high sea swells hitting coastal areas on the eastern and southern side of Upolu island

“School has been called off for the day with tsunami warnings calling for people to head to higher grounds,” the website said.

Witnesses have reported scenes of destruction.

“It’s horrible… The village is gone and my once beautiful beach front villa has now being submerged in water,” Josh Nayangu told the BBC after fleeing the area on a small fishing boat with his wife and son.

Ula Osasa-Mano, who was visiting family on the island, told the BBC the water along the Apia seawall was turbulent.

“The water was kind of swirling like a spa pool outwards [towards] the rim of the lagoon and in a few seconds the water sunk,” Ula Osasa-Mano said.

General alert

The PTWC – a branch of the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – issued a general alert for the South Pacific region.

Stuart Weinstein, the deputy director of the PTWC, told the BBC that the agency was monitoring the situation, but said the wave was expected to be “much smaller” than the 2004 Asian tsunami which killed about 230,000 people in 11 countries.

Mr Weinstein said Tuesday’s quake had only had 3% of the energy generated by the 2004 quake.

He said he expected the quake to be destructive in the areas closest to the epicentre, but said it “remains to be seen” how far any devastation would spread.

By 2200 GMT, the tsunami warning had been cancelled.

The Samoa islands comprise two separate entities – the nation of Samoa and American Samoa, a US territory – with a total population of about 250,000 people.

  1. Andrea, 01 October, 2009

    now over 120 are dead, more missing. Multiple earthquakes happening in 24 hour period all high in magnitude!

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