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The earthquake, which had a preliminary magnitude of 7.9 to 8.3, struck 127 miles south-southwest of Apia, Samoa and about 139 miles southwest of Pago Pago on American Samoa. The tremor, which struck at 6.45 a.m. local time, had a depth of about 11 miles, making it a shallow earthquake. Shallow earthquakes often tend to cause more damage, and increase the risk of a destructive tsunami.

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