(Reuters) - A powerful magnitude 8.0 earthquake near the Samoa archipelago in the South Pacific triggered a tsunami that killed an unknown number of people on Tuesday.
Following are some facts about the volcanic islands:
* A U.S. territory with a population of 65,628.
* Roughly the size of Washington, D.C., with just 77 square miles (199 sq km) of land area.
* Located about midway between Hawaii and New Zealand.
* United States and Germany divided the Samoan archipelago in 1899, with Germany keeping the western islands.
* The smaller group of eastern islands occupied by the United States includes Pago Pago, has one of the best natural deep-water harbors in the South Pacific.
* An independent state with a population of 219,998. It was formerly called Western Samoa.
* Its total land area is 1,092 square miles (2,831 sq km), or slightly smaller than Rhode Island.
* Its two main islands are Savaii and Upolu.
* New Zealand occupied the German protectorate of Western Samoa at the outbreak of World War One in 1914 and administered the islands until 1962.
* The islands became the first Polynesian nation to re-establish independence in the 20th century. The country dropped the “Western” from its name in 1997.
Source: The CIA - World Factbook
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