Extending a lifeline from across the Pacific, federal and state disaster relief workers and volunteers arrived here last night on a Hawaiian Airlines flight with 40,000 pounds of water, food and clothing to help people cope with a deadly earthquake and tsunami.
STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR LINDA LINGLE ON EARTHQUAKE AND TSUNAMI IN SAMOA
“Our prayers go out to the people of American Samoa and Samoa, especially the families of those who lost their lives due to the devastating earthquake and tsunami. We acknowledge how difficult it must be for the Samoan community in Hawai‘i as they await news of their loved ones.
“The State of Hawai‘i is assisting Governor Tulafono in the recovery effort, including medical assistance, communications support and engineers.
“While we were fortunate that a tsunami did not affect Hawai‘i, today’s tsunami watch and the unusual ocean currents and sea level changes in Hawai‘i coastal waters are reminders of the importance for all Hawai‘i residents and businesses to be prepared and to heed the warning of civil defense and safety officials.
“Today’s events in Samoa come as our neighbors in the Philippines are struggling to recover from deadly flooding and landslides in the aftermath of Tropical Storm Ketsana. The Hawai‘i National Guard is assisting in Philippine relief efforts, and the people of Hawai‘i are once again opening their hearts with generous donations to help the victims.”
REUTERS: DEATHS IN WESTERN SAMOA
WELLINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) - A South Pacific tsunami killed an unknown number of people in Western Samoa on Wednesday, a local police spokeswoman said, as the island nation's people fled to higher ground after a big sub-sea quake. "The tsunami has struck some parts of the country," a local police spokeswoman said by phone. Asked if there had been any deaths, she added: "Yes" and then hung up.
REUTERS: DEATHS IN AMERICAN SAMOA
The waves at Pago Pago were 5.1 feet (1.57 metres) above normal sea level, according to the Pacific Western Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii. The centre earlier issued a tsunami warning for New Zealand, American Samoa and other small Pacific islands. American Samoa is a tiny US territory that lies about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand. It is home to about 65,000 people.
Holly Bundock, spokeswoman for the National Park Service’s Pacific West Region in Oakland California, said: “I would say we’re alarmed,” adding that the service had heard from Mike Reynolds, superintendent of the National Park of American Samoa. Reynolds told a Yellowstone dispatch operator that four tsunami waves, each 15ft-20ft high, reaching half-mile to a mile inland on island of Tutuila, where Pago Pago is.
“The National Park of American Samoa visitor centre and its offices appear to be destroyed completely,” Bundock said. Mr Reynolds reported deaths but had no confirmation of numbers, she said. “He’s completely cut off from the rest of the island,” Bundock said.
Chevron said it was monitoring the tsunami threat to Hawaii, where the company has a 54,000 barrel per day refinery near Honolulu. “We are currently monitoring the situation via updates provided by local authorities,” said Chevron spokesman Sean Comey.”
Tesoro Corp did not immediately reply to messages about its 93,500 bpd refinery at Ewa Beach, also on the Hawaiian island of Oahu. Both refineries provide jet fuel to commercial airlines and the US military complex at Pearl Harbor as well motor fuels.
AP: Residents flee tsunami after quake hits Samoas
In Samoa, waves washed cars and houses from villages along the south coast into the sea "and out to the reef," Radio Polynesia reporter Jonatui Lutifoga told New Zealand's National Radio. There were reports that several people were missing, but police said they had no confirmation.
New Zealander Graeme Ansell said the beach village of Sau Sau Beach Fale was leveled.
"It was very quick. The whole village has been wiped out," Ansell told National Radio from a hill near Samoa's capital, Apia. "There's not a building standing. We've all clambered up hills, and one of our party has a broken leg. There will be people in a great lot of need 'round here."
SB: City activates Emergency Operations Center
PHOTO: Samoa Nat'l Park Visitor Center as it appeared in 2008