Quake, tsunami near American Samoa kills at least 22 Wednesday, Sep 30 2009 


(CNN) — A magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck the Pacific near American Samoa, triggering towering tsunami waves that gushed over the island and leaving at least 22 people dead.

American Samoa Gov. Togiola Tulafono, speaking from Hawaii, said Tuesday’s quake ranked “right up there with some of the worst” disasters on the island. He said about 50 people had been treated for injuries so far but he expected that number to rise.

The quake hit the small cluster of South Pacific islands early Tuesday morning. By evening, Laumoli, standing outside the LBJ Tropical Medican Center morgue in the capital of Pago Pago, confirmed 22 deaths.

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5 Most Popular Honeymoon Spots in the World Saturday, Jun 13 2009 



If you want beautiful blue skies and sandy beaches, but crave a little history as well, then look no further than Greece for your honeymoon destination. Warm summers and mild winters combined with an average yearly rainfall of only 55 inches (1.39 meters) in Athens have made Greece a very popular choice for beachcombers who have been to the Caribbean one too many times [source: Greeka.com]. While you’re there, you can book boat trips and overnight stays to some of the Greek Islands like Crete or Mykonos, or tour historic Athens, home to the Roman Forum and the Acropolis. Even if you aren’t into sports, you’ll probably appreciate touring Olympia, site of the first Olympic Games.



Mexico is a popular honeymoon spot for many Americans because of its proximity to the United States and the value it offers. Because of the location, plane flights to most destinations in Mexico can be had on the cheap with some advanced preparation. One advantage of a honeymoon is that it’s usually planned out months in advance so you can take advantage of the best fares. Mexico has some of the most popular resorts in Central America, so if your goal is to lie around by the pool or on the beach without lifting a finger, then it’s a good option to explore.



Nothing says luxury and relaxation quite like French Polynesia. During the dry season, which runs from April to September, you’ll encounter temperatures between 68 and 82 degrees Fahrenheit (20 and 28 Celsius), and it’s unlikely you’ll see much rain . This makes Tahiti an ideal spot for honeymooners who want to enjoy maximum beach time. Like Greece, there are many surrounding islands if you want to plan an overnight boating trip. Bora Bora’s famous lagoon is home to some of the best snorkeling in the world.


Even before Hawaii was voted in as the 50th U.S. state in 1959, it was a popular vacation spot for regular folks and honeymooners alike. It held down the top spot in the Modern Brides magazine honeymoon destination poll for a solid decade until being unseeded in 2008. There are hundreds of islands that make up Hawaii over a 1,500-mile (2,400-kilometer) span in the Pacific Ocean, but the most popular three islands are Hawaii (The Big Island), O’ahu and Maui. Hawaii is home to a diverse ecosystem of jungles, mountains and beaches . Like many of its island counterparts, you can have whatever kind of honeymoon you want in Hawaii. Luxurious resorts and beach villas can ensure five-star lodging and dining, or you can get off the tourist trail and rough it in an eco-resort.



As the popular Dean Martin song goes, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.” Honeymooners eager to take in some of Europe’s finest offerings need not look further than Italy. It’s got a little something for everyone — great food, wine, culture, nightlife, romance and history. Italy has enough cities of interest to merit a full few weeks to travel around, if time and your budget permits. You can start in Rome, site of the Colosseum, Spanish Steps, the Vatican and the Trevi Fountain. What’s more romantic for a newly-wedded couple than casting a coin and wish into the same fountain that Audrey Hepburn did in the classic film “Roman Holiday”? But that’s just one of more than 300 fountains in Rome.