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Pacific tsunami: Countries hit

30 September 09 13:35 GMT

A number of countries have been hit by a tsunami triggered by a strong earthquake in the South Pacific.

SAMOA

At least 77 people are dead and 150 injured, Samoan Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi says.

A number of people are missing, and officials warn that the casualty figures are likely to rise further. There are four overseas visitors among the dead.

Many of the victims were reportedly killed by a second wave after they went to gather fish that had been washed up after the first.

Whole coastal villages were destroyed.

AMERICAN SAMOA

More than 25 people are reported dead and about 50 injured. A number of people are missing.

American Samoa Governor Togiola Tulafono said that the southern part of the main Tutuila island was "devastated".

US President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in American Samoa, enabling federal funding to made available to help victims.

TONGA

At least six people are reported dead and four injured in Tonga.

But New Zealand acting Prime Minister Bill English quoted Tongan officials as saying several more had been swept out to sea.

The worst hit appears to be the northern island of Niuatoputapu.

FIJI

Fiji reported large waves but no damage.

COOK ISLANDS

"Bigger than usual" waves were reported, and the authorities closed schools and government offices as a precaution.

The territory is a self-governing state in free association with New Zealand.

JAPAN

"Very weak" tsunami waves were registered off the island of Hachijojima, Japan's Meteorological Agency was quoted as saying by the Associated Press news agency.

There were no reports of injuries or damage.

US

Strong currents and dangerous waves were forecast in Hawaii and also from California to Washington state on the US mainland.

However, no major flooding was expected, US officials said.

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