29 September 2009
The BBC is reporting the death toll rising in Samoa tonight, from the massive quake earlier in the day. The quake registered 8.3 with a very shallow depth of 18km. A quake that strong and that shallow can produce deadly tsunamis and is capable of great destruction.
The quake hit at 17:48 GMT. This is 1:48pm U.S. East Coast time, and 6:48pm in London. This was 6:48am Wednesday in American Samoa.
Reports of whole villages swept away by a Tsunami are being broadcast by the BBC. The Tsunami hit an area very near the quake and this would mean a very short warning time. A Tsunami Warning was issued, but it likely hit within minutes of the quake itself.
Here is the Seismogram from New Zealand:
Here is what the seismograph of the USGS in Northern California recorded.