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Fiji Time: 8:22 AM on Wednesday 24 September

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Tsunami recorded in Samoa, Fiji warning passes

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Update: 8:17AM A TSUNAMI warning was in effect for Fiji this morning after a magnitude-8.3 earthquake in the Samoa Islands region.

In Pago Pago, Amercian Samoa, the tsunami amplitude measures (relative to normal sea level) saw wave activity at 5.1ft or 1.57metres every four minutes at 6.12 Samoa time.

At 6.32 Samoa time, waves over 2.3ft or 0.7 metres were recorded as happening eight minutes apart.

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said sea level readings indicated that a tsunami was generated which may have been destructive along coasts near the earthquake epicentre.

It said where no major waves were observed for two hours after the estimated time of arrival, local authorities can assume that the threat has passed.

"As local conditions can cause a wide variation in tsunami wave action, the all clear determination must be made by local authorities.

A tsunami is a series of waves and the time between successive waves can be five minutes to one hour.

The Center issued a tsunami warning for American Samoa, Samoa, Niue, Wallis-Futuna, Tokelau, Cook Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Kermadec Island, Fiji, Howland-Baker, Jarvis Is, New Zealand, French Polynesia, Palmyra Island, Vanuatu, Nauru, Marshall Islands and Solomon Islands.

The bulletin was issued as advice to government agencies. It said only national and local government agencies had the authority to make decision regarding the official state of alert in their area and any actions to be taken in response.

The earthquake occurred at the coordinates - 15.3 SOUTH 171.0 WEST, at a depth of 33 KM, in the Samoa Islands region. It was a magnitude 8.3.

Fiji's initial tsunami arrival time had been placed at 8.03.


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