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Conditions and geography combined for devastating tsunami
« on: October 01, 2009, 06:35:25 AM »
Conditions and geography combined for devastating tsunami

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Because of a lethal combination of geology and geography, the people of American Samoa didn't stand much of a chance.

Almost every condition that triggers bad tsunamis was in place this time, generating waves that raced toward the island territory at speeds approaching 530 mph, or as fast as a 747 jumbo jet. And there was almost nothing to slow the water down.

It all started with a type of earthquake that tends to generate strong tsunamis because of the angle at which the ground breaks. Also, the quake was extremely powerful, with a magnitude of 8.0. It struck just below the ocean floor, which means very little lost energy. And it happened in deep water, which means bigger waves.

Full story about the conditions that made the tsunami
http://www.samoanews.com/viewstory.php?storyid=9596&edition=1254391200

 


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