September 30, 2009

Powerful Tsunami Hits Samoa

An earthquake with a magnitude of between 8.0 and 8.3 sparked a powerful tsunami in the South Pacific islands of Samoa and American Samoa, resulting in the deaths of more than 100 people.

In Samoa, at least 77 deaths have been reported due to the massive tsunami, more than 25 are dead in Samoa and at least 6 deaths have been reported in Tonga. The Samoa islands hold a population of about 250,000 people.

Four overseas visitors have been reported dead, according to Tuila'epe Sailele Malielegaoi, Samoan prime minister.

"So much has gone. So many people are gone," Malielegaoi told Australia's AAP news agency.

The earthquake occurred at 1748 GMT on Tuesday, centering about 150 miles from Samoa.

Officials said the death toll is expected to rise.