Three years since tsunami kills 34 in American Samoa

Three years since tsunami kills 34 in American Samoa

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© United States Navy © United States Navy
© United States Navy © United States Navy
© United States Navy © United States Navy

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) - It's been three years since the 2009 tsunami spawned by an 8.7-magnitude earthquake killed 34 people in American Samoa and more than 100 in neighboring Samoa.

Three years after the Sept. 29 devastation, American Samoa has earned a special tsunami-readiness designation from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

NOAA says the TsunamiReady designation makes the U.S. Pacific island territory more prepared for a future tsunami.

Several villages were destroyed when the tsunami struck 17 minutes after the earthquake about 120 miles south of Pago Pago.

To receive the designation, a community must establish a 24-hour warning point and emergency operations center. There must also be multiple ways to receive tsunami warnings and alert the public. A formal hazard plan must be developed, along with emergency exercises and public readiness education.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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