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Tsunami May Have Killed 120 Samoa and Tonga

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SamoaA tsunami triggered by a strong quake in the South Pacific has killed at least 65 people in Samoa and more than 20 in American Samoa, say reports.

The Samoan authorities say at least another 145 people have been injured and whole villages destroyed. American Samoa's delegate to the US Congress said thousands of people had been left homeless in the territory. An 8.3-magnitude quake struck at 1748 GMT, generating 15ft-high (4.5m) waves in some areas of the islands.

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.

A tsunami warning was initially issued for the wider region but cancelled a few hours later. The general manager of Samoa's National Health Service told the BBC that 65 people had died and 145 people were injured.US President Barack Obama has declared a major disaster in American Samoa, enabling federal funding to made available to help victims.

[via news.bbc.co.uk]

UPDATE on 09/30/09 5:00 am:

The tsunami warning issued earlier for the west coast has been cancelled.

UPDATE on 09/30/2009 5:32 am:

A 7.6 magnitude earthquake has struck Indonesia. There is no tsunami threat. 

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