A powerful Pacific Ocean earthquake spawned towering tsunami waves
A powerful Pacific Ocean earthquake spawned towering tsunami waves that swept ashore on Samoa and American Samoa early Tuesday, flattening villages, killing dozens of people and leaving several workers missing at devastated National Park Service facilities.
Cars and people were swept out to sea by the fast-churning water as survivors fled to high ground, where they remained huddled hours later. Signs of devastation were everywhere, with a giant boat getting washed ashore and coming to rest on the edge of a highway and floodwaters swallowing up cars and homes.
The quake, with a magnitude between 8.0 and 8.3, struck around dawn about 20 miles below the ocean floor, 120 miles (190 kilometers) from American Samoa, a U.S. territory that is home to 65,000 people.
See: New tsunami alert sparks panic in Samoa