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Deadly tsunami in South Pacific

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Cars washed away, trees tossed like straws, flattened houses ... A strong earthquake of magnitude 8.3 occurred at dawn Tuesday in the South Pacific, causing a tsunami that destroyed at least one village in Samoa, a volcanic archipelago consisting of an independent state and American Samoa, administered by Washington . At least 113 people were killed, according to a latest balance sheet that could significantly increase, says one official. Many people are also missing.

Two Australians, including a girl aged 6, were among the killed. Two South Koreans were killed and a third is missing. New Zealand has also indicated that one of its nationals may have perished in the disaster. Finally a young Briton was "presumed dead", according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in London.

Barack Obama immediately declared a state of disaster in American Samoa. He promised that every effort be made to make a "prompt response" and "aggressive." The EU, meanwhile, declared itself ready to lend a hand to victims and released an initial emergency aid of 150,000 euros. This assistance will be paid to the International Red Cross and could be used for medical aid, water and emergency shelter.

The electricity is off and means of movement made impossible.

The epicenter was located about 200 km south-west of Apia, the capital of the archipelago of Samoa. According to the USGS, the quake struck 35km beneath the ocean floor. Walls of water about 8 feet were then slaughtered on the coast. The tsunami also hit the neighboring archipelago of Tonga, where seven people died.

The area most tourist Samoa was "devastated," said Deputy Prime Minister Misa Telefoni. He said two of the busiest hotels, the Sinalei Reef Resort and Coconuts Beach Resort, off the west coast of the main island of Upolu, had been seriously damaged.

In Samoa, a witness, the New Zealander Graeme Ansell, also reported on national radio that the seaside village of Sau Sau Beach Fale had been completely destroyed by the wave. "It was very fast. The entire village was razed, "he told from a hill near the capital Apia.

"There are more than a building standing. We all hastily assembled on the heights and one of us had a broken leg. Many people will really need help in the neighborhood. "

"The sea swells up to 100 meters"

Another witness in Samoa, "the quake lasted more than two minutes, I had never felt anything like this with my family we rushed outside our house," the resident told AFP by telephone from New Zealand. At Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa, a huge wave came shortly after the earthquake. The sea swells up to 100 meters inland before retiring leaving cars covered with mud.

In the capital of the Independent State of Samoa, Apia, residents fled their homes when the earth shook. The quake lasted up to three minutes. The earthquake occurred at 6 h 48 am (17 h 48 GMT) midway between Samoa and American Samoa, has announced the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).


Strong earthquake off Sumatra

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.6 on the Richter scale occurred Wednesday in Indonesia, Off Padang on the western coast of Sumatra island, where houses and bridges were damaged.

An alert has been issued by the central monitoring tsunamis in the Pacific. Several countries in the Indian Ocean could be affected by tidal waves destructive, said the Japan Meteorological Agency. Indian coasts are out of danger, however, as the national center for oceanographic information. No report has been advanced.

An "alert" is issued tsunami since Tuesday for New Caledonia, Hawaii, Vanuatu, Marshall Islands, Solomon Johnston and Papua New Guinea.

Japan has also triggered an alert along its eastern coast, expecting a wave of 50 cm high.

Source: Lefigaro

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