Tsunami warning issued for Samoa

01/03/2010 17:55

By Justin Faafia

APIA - A tsunami warning was issued for Samoa today after an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.8 in the northern Pacific region. Locals were alerted about the tsunami warning, after the Pacific tsunami warning centre issued a warning to more than ten Pacific island countries, including Samoa.

Following prescribed procedures people in the lower lying areas of Apia and the coastal areas of Samoa evacuated to higher ground.

The areas such as Mt Vaea, Vaitele Uta, Vaivase Uta and Vaoala were just some of the locations given by the Disaster Management Organisation for people to evacuate to.

Warnings of tidal waves were issued in 53 other countries.

The Pacific tsunami warning centre said the quake had generated a wave that could cause destruction along nearby shores "and could also be a threat to more distant coasts".

Reuters reported that the epicentre was 70 miles from Concepcion, Chile's second largest city, with a population of about 670,000. TV Chile reported that a 15-storey building collapsed in the city, where buildings were on fire, highway bridges collapsed and cracks opened up in the streets.

As people evacuated today, it was a painful reminder of the tragic tsunami which occurred in Samoa five months ago, which killed more than 100 people from the South Coast of Upolu.


Photo: Five months ago when Samoans evacuated in the town area, 149 people died from a tsunami that hit the south coast of Upolu. EW