A powerful 8.3-magnitude earthquake struck in the South Pacific between Samoa and American Samoa around dawn Tuesday, sending terrified residents fleeing for higher ground as a tsunami swept ashore, flattening at least one village. There were no immediate reports of fatalities.
The temblor hit midway between the two island groups. In Apia, families reported shaking that lasted for up to three minutes. The US Geological Service said the quake struck 35 kilometers below the ocean floor, 190 kilometers from American Samoa and 200 kilometers from Samoa.
The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center issued a general alert for the South Pacific region, from American Samoa to New Zealand. It said there were indications a tsunami wave could be "destructive" along some coastlines.