Up to 20 dead after quake hits Samoas

DeathSamoa Earthquake (2009)TsunamisMaseWeather

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) - Officials in American Samoa say up to 20 people may be dead after a tsunami swept ashore in the South Pacific country after a powerful earthquake hit nearby.

Mase Akapo, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service, says the deaths occurred in four different villages on the mainisland of Tutuila, with six in the western area of Leone.

An unspecified number of people also were killed in neighboring Samoa.

The earthquake had a magnitude of up to 8.3 as it struck between Samoa and American Samoa around dawn Tuesday, sending terrified residents fleeing for higher ground.

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