Media, Sci-Tech

Earthquake unleashes tsunami in south Pacific

Earthquake unleashes tsunami in south Pacific

An earthquake in the ocean south-west of American Samoa, measuring 8.3 on the Richter Scale, has sent giant waves barreling towards islands in the Pacific.

Worst hit was Samoa and American Samoa itself, where authorities fear the combined death toll may be as high as 120. Samoa’s deputy prime minister Misa Telefoni says islanders had no warning that the tsunami was on its way.

The earthquake struck Samoa at 6:48 a.m (Samoan time) and was centered 195 kilometres south of the capital, Apia. Most of the damage occurred in the south-east of the country, where many luxury and budget resorts are located. Amongst the scores feared dead are holidaymakers from Australia and New Zealand.

According to reports, villages were destroyed and cars and people swept out to sea as the fast-churning water caught them unaware. While foreign governments prepare to send aid to Samoa, a state of emergency has been declared in American Samoa, a United States territory of about 65,000 people.

Waves resulting from the quake were recorded on New Zealand’s coast, but were not significant enough to cause damage. All tsunami advisories for New Zealand have been cancelled.

A fresh tsunami warning was issued by Samoan authorities hours after the first tsunami hit, although no similar alert was issued by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre. Neither did the US Geological Survey record any new earthquake activity in the area.

Read more: The Age, LA Times, New Zealand Herald


Please peer review 3 community comments before your comment can be posted

A South African Hero: You

There’s a 99.7% chance that this isn’t for you. Only 0.3% of our readers have responded to this call for action.

Those 0.3% of our readers are our hidden heroes, who are fuelling our work and impacting the lives of every South African in doing so. They’re the people who contribute to keep Daily Maverick free for all, including you.

The equation is quite simple: the more members we have, the more reporting and investigations we can do, and the greater the impact on the country.

Be part of that 0.3%. Be a Maverick. Be a Maverick Insider.

Support Daily Maverick→
Payment options

MavericKids vol 3

How can a child learn to read if they don't have a book?

81% of South African children aged 10 can't read for meaning. You can help by pre-ordering a copy of MavericKids.

For every copy sold we will donate a copy to Gift of The Givers for children in need of reading support.