Tsunami Hits Samoa Islands, Dozens Die

Update:
Samoa Tsunami Kills 141 Before Quake Prompts Indian Ocean Watch (Bloomberg)


samoa
The downtown of Fagatoga was flooded when a tsunami hit American Samoa early on Tuesday. (AP)

SYDNEY, Australia — A powerful tsunami generated by an undersea earthquake killed more than two dozen people and wiped out several villages in the tropical islands of American Samoa and Samoa early on Tuesday there, according to officials and local residents who were working to assess the damage.

The earthquake struck around dawn, as many residents were preparing for work and getting their children ready for school. Officials said they expected heavy damage in the southern parts of Samoa and American Samoa, a United States territory with about 60,000 residents.

Damaged telephone lines on both islands hampered efforts to count the casualties and assess the destruction from the earthquake, with a magnitude of 8.0. It struck below the ocean about 120 miles southwest of American Samoa and 125 miles south of Samoa, and it was centered only 11 miles below the seabed, according to the United States Geological Survey.

At least 14 people were killed in American Samoa, the territory’s governor, Togiola T. A. Tulafono, said at a news conference in Hawaii. The toll could rise as emergency workers gain access to damaged areas, he and other officials said.

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Food Riots and Speculators

Food riots have broken out across the globe destabilizing large parts of the developing world. China is experiencing double-digit inflation. Indonesia, Vietnam and India have imposed controls over rice exports. Wheat, corn and soy beans are at record highs and threatening to go higher still. Commodities are up across the board. The World Food Program is warning of widespread famine if the West doesn’t provide emergency humanitarian relief. The situation is dire. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez summed it up like this, “It is a massacre of the world’s poor. The problem is not the production of food. It is the economic, social and political model of the world. The capitalist model is in crisis.”

Right on, Hugo. There is no shortage of food (This is disinformation – The Infinite Unknown); it’s just the prices that are making food unaffordable. Bernanke’s “weak dollar” policy has ignited a wave of speculation in commodities which is pushing prices into the stratosphere. The UN is calling the global food crisis a “silent tsunami”, but its more like a flood; the world is awash in increasingly worthless dollars that are making food and raw materials more expensive. Foreign central banks and investors presently hold $6 trillion in dollars and dollar-backed assets, so when the dollar starts to slide, the pain radiates through entire economies. This is especially true in countries where the currency is pegged to the dollar. That’s why most of the Gulf States are experiencing runaway inflation.

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