Tsunami Levels Villages in Samoan Islands

Illustration for article titled Tsunami Levels Villages in Samoan Islands

Residents of the Samoan Islands are trying to pick the pieces up after an 8.0 earthquake triggered three five-foot tsunamis that slammed into the island chain leaving at least 111 dead. From CNN:

Around 220,000 people live on the two main islands which make up the nation of Samoa. The population of the U.S. island territory of American Samoa is about 66,000. 

At least 22 people were confirmed dead late Tuesday in American Samoa. Salamo Laumoli, director of health services at the LBJ Tropical Medical Center in the capital, Pago Pago, said he feared more fatalities would turn up as rescue workers strived to access parts of the island severed by damaged infrastructure.

"I thought it was the end of the world," said Laumoli. "I have never felt an earthquake like that before."

Patients at the hospital were briefly moved to higher ground, but they were soon brought back and the hospital is operating, the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency said. The airport in the capital of Pago Pago was also operational and being used for emergency flights, FEMA said.

A series of aftershocks reverberated through the region Tuesday as reports emerged of entire villages flattened or submerged by the tsunami. The walls of water were so strong that they twisted concrete beams and mangled cars.


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