A tsunami caused by an 8.0 earthquake killed an unknown number of people in Western Samoa today.
The AP reported that residents fled their homes to higher ground:
WELLINGTON (Reuters) – A South Pacific tsunami killed an unknown number of people in Western Samoa on Wednesday, a local police spokeswoman said, as the island nation’s people fled to higher ground after a big sub-sea quake.
“The tsunami has struck some parts of the country,” a local police spokeswoman said by phone. Asked if there had been any deaths, she added: “Yes” and then hung up.
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The epicenter of the 8.0 magnitude quake was located 120 miles southwest of American Samoa, which lies near Western Samoa, the U.S. Geological Survey said.
There were tsunami warnings issued in New Zealand and Hawaii following the quake.
The BBC is reporting that 3 people died and 50 were injured in the tsunami.
UPDATE: At least 34 were killed today in one of the latest reports.