Samoa Tsunami & Earthquake 2009: News, Photos, & Videos

Samoa Islands is made up of nine volcanic islands, including the two large islands of Upolu and Savai'i and seven small islets. It is located about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the South Pacific.¹

The earthquake struck at 1748 GMT on Tuesday, September 29, 2009, generating 15ft (4.5m) tsunami waves in some areas of the Samoa Islands.² Based on currently available location and fault mechanism information, the USGS infers that the earthquake occurred as a normal fault rupture on or near the outer rise of the subducting Pacific plate.³ Several countries have been hit by the tsunami including: Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, the Cook Islands, and Japan.

Event Facts

  • Death toll at least 129
  • Samoa – 77 people are reported dead and 150 injured
  • American Samoa – at least 31 people are reported dead and about 50 injured; a number of people are missing
  • Tonga – 9 people are reported dead and four injured
  • Profile Samoas

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