Powerful Quakes Strike Samoa, Indonesia

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In an unfortunate coincidence, two separate earthquakes struck both Indonesia and America Samoa, with the quakes occurring within a day of each other.

American Samoa was the first to be hit when a powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the pacific just before dawn Tuesday, triggering a massive tsunami that has left at least 99 people dead and dozens more missing.
    
The quake hit about 125 miles off the coast of the Pacific island.

Rude Awakening

The quake struck about dawn 20 miles beneath the ocean floor between Samoa and American Samoa, sending four tsunami waves that swept a mile inland.

"It caused a tsunami, or a tidal wave of about 15-feet in height," said Rep. Eni Faleomavega, D-AS.

Villages were flooded and flattened and authorities say dozens of people are missing.
     
Cars and people were swept out to sea by the fast-churning water as survivors fled to higher ground, where they remained huddled hours after the quake struck.

Tsunami warnings were issued throughout the region.

"There is a potential for another wave to hit New Zealand and also there is still the risk of quite strong currents in coastal area," said John Hamilton, director of the New Zealand National Civil Defense.

The effects of the Samoan tsunami could be felt thousands of miles away.

U.S. officials say strong currents and dangerous waves were forecast from California to Washington State.

Many who have relatives who live in the region fear the worst.

"Our house is right on the water, right next to the water, and when it hit, it obviously must have pulled the kids right in, because they can't find them right now,' said resident Fala Toailoa.

President Barack Obama has declared a state of emergency for American Samoa.  FEMA is deploying teams to provide support to the region.

Indonesia Quake 

Meanwhile, new tsunami warnings have been issued this morning after a major quake hit just off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia.
   
The 7.9 quake reportedly caused damage to buildings in western Indonesia. A tsunami alert has been issued for Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Thailand.  

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.