South Pacific Tsunami Kills More Than 100 People

By Eliza Strickland | September 30, 2009 10:18 am

samoan-earthquakeThe tsunami that struck the South Pacific islands of Somoa, American Somoa, and Tongo yesterday has resulted in at least 108 deaths, according to early reports.

Experts monitoring the underwater earthquake that triggered the tsunami have issued various reports of its magnitude, ranging from 7.8 to 8.3. The powerful quake struck early on Tuesday morning, local time, as island residents were getting ready for work and school. About ten minutes after the shock, ten-foot-high waves hit American Somoa’s shore. “American Samoa is a small island, and most of the residents are around the coastline,” [said Filipo Ilaoa, deputy director of the American Samoan office in Honolulu]. “There was no warning or anything at all. By the time the alert was out of the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, it had already hit” [The New York Times].

Officials say at least 25 people were killed in American Samoa, and that the territory’s capital, Pago Pago, sustained major damage. But the independent nation of Samoa appears to have fared even worse. Officials there say at least 77 people were killed and beachfront towns and resorts were flattened by waves that measured up to 33 feet high. Officials at the Samoa Meteorology Division said many of those who died were killed by a second wave after they went to gather fish that had been washed up after the first [BBC News].

In Tonga, an island nation to the south of the Samoan islands, officials have reported six deaths. But there may be more grim news to come. New Zealand’s acting Prime Minister Bill English said Tongan officials had told him a “considerable number of people” had been swept out to sea. Mr English added: “Over the next 12 hours the picture could look worse rather than better” [BBC News].

Related Content:
80beats: Tsunami Strikes American Samoa
80beats: Indonesia May Face a “Supercycle” of Devastating Earthquakes
80beats: Geologists Find One Cataclysmic Tsunami in Every 600 Years of Thai Dirt

Image: U.S. Geological Survey

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Environment
  • Aed Ley

    ________________________
    9/30/09

    To National Hurricane Center
    To National Weather Service Principals

    The following was included in an Alert to the Japanese Meteorological Agency [JMA] JUST HOURS BEFORE just hours before the 8.3 quake struck in the area of America Samoa:
    “…the accumulating weight of water in the equaltorial regions from melting ice caps portend major siesmic activity in equatorial zones reguiring more than suual countering intercedences.” {See below for the complete text ofthe Alert).

    Be advised, other siesmic occurrences in adjacent areas can be anticipated as the ocean floors continue to be impacted by the preponderant accumulating weight of water from meltig ice caps.

    ——————–
    9/28/09 C905 PM

    (Spell checked with an addition]

    To The Prime Minister of Japan & All concerned government Principals:
    the accumulating weight of water in the equaltorial regions from melting ice caps portend major siesmic activity in equatorial zones reguiring more than suual countering intercedences.

    Because of the recurring frequency of tropical storm formation in thew warming waters of the Pacific and the feasibility of better moderating such instances of potential calamity through other than the usual conventions; and rather enlisting more supraphysical alignments this offer is once again submitted to officials of governments in the Pacific to avail themselves of the more than usual services that can be conditionally bestowed to both conditionally moderate and when necessary redirect the course of approaching storm fronts. enabling advanced protection of lives and property to more fortuitously result..

    While the origins of such highly advanced procedurals are too complex and vast too quickly and briefly detial, it is deemed a matter of urgecy that earnest consideratio be given to this timely offer, since the accumulating weight of water in the equaltorial regions from melting ice caps portend major siesmic activity in equatorial zones reguiring more than suual countering intercedences.

    Officials of Hawaii, The Philippines, India & New Zealand among others have also been contacted during recent weeks A web site is under construction. You can be notified when it is completed.

    All replies should be sent immediately to Appositional Intergraded Multiservices c/o: multiservices@att.net [916 978-4015 24/7 voice mail]. Additional details will be then provided at your request

    cst:cp,wc,ms
    cst93009; cp,ms,:nws

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