At least 100 people have died as a result of Tuesday's earthquake and tsunami. Seventy Seven have been reported dead in Samoa, twenty five in American Samoa, along with six in Tonga. Officials fear that the death toll will continue to rise as reports trickle in from outlying villages and islands. Phone lines were damaged in some areas, or simply overwhelmed with the volume of calls from relatives seeking information on loved ones.
American Samoa tsunami video Samoan islands location tsunami 2009. A tsunami may have killed as many as 120 in Samoa and American Samoa islands, officials said late Tuesday. At least 26 are confirmed dead in Samoa and 19 casualties were reported in nearby American Samoa after a tsunami waves struck the islands, US homeland security official Mike Sala said. Waves were reported five feet to 15 feet above sea level, prompting warning across the Pacific to the Western United States, from southern California up to Oregon-Washington border.
It was reported that many villagers, unaware that tsunamis can send multiple waves inundating low lying areas, left the safer high ground to collect fish wash ashore by the first wave. Some also say that since the earthquake was so close to the Samoan islands there was not enough time to warn people of the coming tsunami. The tsunami hit American Samoa 24 minutes after the earthquake. The Samoan islands lie 125 miles north of the epicenter. The earthquake was felt in Samoa and American Samoa.