PAGO PAGO, American Samoa — A tsunami swept into Pago Pago, American Samoa, shortly after an earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 8.3 erupted in the area.
A U.S. National Parks Service official told Reuters Tuesday that the earthquake and the tsunami caused some deaths in American Samoa, but that report could not be independently confirmed
Fili Sagapolutele, who works at the Samoa News, said the water flowed inland about 100 yards before receding, leaving some cars stuck in the mud.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Honolulu issued a tsunami warning for American Samoa and other areas of the Pacific, including New Zealand. A tsunami watch was posted for other areas, including Hawaii and the Marshall Islands.
There are reports that some beaches in Hawaii are being closed as a precaution. Police were at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center to offer protection and assistance in the event that a large wave formed.
American Samoa, a group of islands, is a U.S. territory located in the South Pacific, about 2,300 miles south of Hawaii. American Samoa is slightly larger than Washington, D.C., with a population of 65,628. The population of Pago Pago is approximately 11,000.
The last earthquake to hit the Pacific Rim region was in Indonesia in July 2006, when a nearly 8 magnitude earthquake set off a tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 200 people.