Earthquake in Samoa 2009 Case Study

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Earthquake in Samoa

Name: 2009 Samoa Earthquake

Where: Samoan Islands region

When: September 29th 2009, at 6.48am local time.

Main Characteristics/Causes:
A
tsunami was generated which caused substantial damage and loss of life in Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center recorded that there was a 3-inch rise in sea levels near the epicenter.
The earthquake occurred on the
outer rise of the Kermadec-Tonga Subduction Zone . This is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, where tectonic plates in the earth's lithosphere meet and earthquakes and volcanicactivity are common. The Pacific plate was being subducted westward beneath the Australia plate at the Tonga trench. The Pacific plate moves westward at a velocity of about 86 mm/year. The earthquake occurred near the northern end of a 3,000 km long segment of the Pacific/Australia plate boundary that trends north-northeast.

Richter scale:
8.0 on the richter scale, the largest in 2009 so far.

Other information:
The earthquake occurred on the same day as the
2009 Sumatra earthquakes, a magnitude 7.9 earthquake and subsequent aftershocks in which at least 1,000 people died

Impacts

Countries affected by the tsunami in the areas that were hit are American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga where more than 189 people have been killed, most of them in Samoa.

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