- The Washington Times - Tuesday, September 29, 2009

BREAKING NEWS:

A 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck Tuesday in the Pacific Ocean near the U.S. territory of American Samoa, resulting in a tsunami and warnings for as far away as Hawaii.

NOAA confirmed the tsunami was generated on American Samoa. There have been reports of water rushing about 100 yards on shore, then receding. But there have been no reports of injuries, structural damage or flooding.

Still, the size of the quake has the potential to generate a destructive tsunami on more distant coastlines within hours, the agency said.

The epicenter was roughly 120 miles southwest of the remote South Pacific islands. The nearest big island is Fiji.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration issued the warnings and watches after the earthquake struck at about 7 a.m. local time.

New Zealand was among the nearby islands included in the warning. Those under the lower-level watch include Hawaii, which would get hit by a tsunami at about 1 p.m. local time.

A tsunami is series of waves, and the time between successive ones can be five minutes to an hour. The initial wave may not be the largest.

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