American Samoa

American Samoa declares health emergency over measles

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the declaration covered the entire territory.

Lolo said effective immediately, all visitors entering American Samoa through Samoa or Tonga must provide proof of MMR immunisation, as a condition of entry.

All American Samoan residents travelling to affected countries would also be subject to Health Department screening.

The emergency declaration is valid for 30 days with the possibility of extension.

There are currently two suspected cases of measles in the territory.

American Samoa on alert over Samoa measles

Health Director Motusa Tuileama Nua said because of the contagious nature of the disease and frequent travel in the area, monitoring would continue until the epidemic on neighbouring Samoa is over.

Two-hundred people arrived on the Lady Naomi ferry on Thursday and the majority were sports teams taking part in a local festival.

A group of cricket players from Samoa was screened and the department said it was continuing to monitor the group, with regular checks for symptoms.

Ten years on from Samoas most devastating tsunami

2009's 8.3 magnitude quake was the most powerful that year and struck shortly before 7am (New Zealand time. (30 Sept in NZ)

RNZI reports the subsequent tsunami waves killed 189 people. 149 in Samoa, 31 in American Samoa and nine in Tonga.

Memorial church services are being held to commemorate the tragedy.

American Samoa senator questions Manu Samoa donation

Fonoti Tafa'ifa Aufata raised the issue during yesterday's budget committee hearings for special programs administrated by the governor for the new fiscal year 2020.

Fonoti said she was trying to locate the $US100,000 the governor gave to the rugby team from Samoa.

The governor's chief of staff, Fiu Johnny Saelua, responded by saying it came from money allocated under the Governor's Contingency Fund and said it was up to the governor how this money was spent.

Methamphetamine use at crisis levels in American Samoa

Fofo District faipule Andra Samoa said like many villages on the main island, Tutuila, her village of Leone is infested with ice, as the drug is known locally.

It has become so prevalent even elementary school children are using it, Ms Samoa said.

Dealers and users are widely known yet their operations continue with some being children of local matai, she said.

American Samoa clamp goes on medical drug brought in

 It follows the arrest of a Vietnamese woman, carrying, what police say, were pills containing cocaine and heroin.

An Tran Thi was found with the pills while she was returning to the territory after a trip to her homeland.

She travelled via Singapore and Fiji and was arrested after she landed in Samoa on her way to Pago Pago.

The Director for Homeland Security Samana Semo Veavea told KHJ news there's a pattern of mainly Asian travellers bringing in bags of medication of a quantity clearly not for personal use.

Search for American Samoan teens called off

It had been extended to midnight beyond the 72 hour search period which finished at 2pm yesterday.

The local senator Fai'ivae Iuli Alex Godinet said a big problem with the search had been the length of time getting the patrol boat to Utumea from its base at Fagatogo.

He said if there had been a boat based at nearby Leone they would have found the cousins well before the search period was up.

Fai'ivae said it may not have saved their lives but it would have given closure to the families.

Rising ocean flooding American Samoa's Aunuu

One resident, who did not want to be named said government leaders should come and see the damage for themselves.

The resident, who is a government worker, said last week the island lost power for several hours because ocean waves rolled into the area where the power generator plant is located.

Photos he took showed a road covered by rocks and debris thrown up by the sea.

The resident said people were worried about children getting caught by waves washing across the road.

American Samoa population drops

Government data released in August 2018 showed the territory's mid-year 2018 population was estimated at 59,600 - a loss of 700 people compared to July 1, 2017, while data released this week showed that the 2019 mid-year population is estimated to be 58,500.

The Statistics Division of the Department of Commerce said migration, increased mortality and a declining fertility rate were behind the drop.

The department said net natural growth increased at the lowest rate in two decades, with only 600 people added to the count this year.

Anger in American Samoa over donation to Manu Samoa

RNZ Pacific's correspondent reported that Facebook had lit up with criticism since the donation last Thursday.

One of the main complaints was that $US100,000 had been promised to the American Samoa National Olympic Committee for Team American Samoa at this month's Pacific Games, but only $US20,000 was given.

Other criticisms have included that people were still waiting for their tax refunds, there's a freeze on overtime and salary increments, and money should go to school improvements and roads, before it goes to a foreign rugby team.