American Samoa

President Trump declares disaster in American Samoa

The approval will activate federal resources and assistance programmes for American Samoa, including relief packages and financial aid.

The governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, said the details of the declaration would be made public "soon."

As many as 500 people are still living in emergency shelters in American Samoa, three weeks after Gita swept across the islands causing extensive damage.

Frustration has been mounting among residents regarding the emergency response.


In search of American Samoa's breadfruit flour secret

Todd Manley said after two devastating hurricanes in the Virgin Islands and a major distillery company packing up, the US territory in the Caribbean started looking for new industries to prop up its economy.

Mr Manley said ulu, or breadfruit, was identified as a potential new industry and found to be of high quality.

He said he was impressed with the product from Su'a Alexander Jennings' ulu operation.

Price gouging concerns as American Samoa recovers from Gita

Retailers are being reminded it's illegal to raise the price of certain consumer goods by 10 percent or more after the declaration of a state of emergency.

The territory's governor, Lolo Matalasi Moliga, declared a state of emergency last Friday as the devastating winds and heavy rain from Gita began impacting the main island of Tutuila.

Soon after this reports surfaced of price gouging at some stores.

The price gouging law requires businesses to provide proof a price rise is not "unfair".


Photo by Pacific Roots/Twitter


Eight hundred still in shelters in American Samoa

Yesterday US President Donald Trump approved an emergency declaration for the territory.

RNZI reports most of the shops in the capital of Pago Pago were closed or heavily damaged.

Nearly 800 people, including elderly and children, remained in emergency accommodation.

Schools will remain closed for the whole week.

Some of the evacuees may have to be moved into churches temporarily. 

American Samoa expects storm to intensify into cyclone

Showers are forecast to continue today with the Department of Education cancelling school for a second day.

American Samoa Meteorologist Salu Malala Salu said the approaching depression was expected to intensify within the next 24 hours.

"There's a tropical depression ... and it's located about halfway between us and Fiji. Looking at the models, it should come near Savai'i and Upolu [in Samoa] late tonight," Mr Salu said.

Samoa taro ban in American Samoa lifted

Samoa Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi said he received a letter from American Samoa authorities informing him the ban, which started over concerns about a taro virus, was being lifted.

However, Tuilaepa said concerns were also raised over the dirty condition of taro arriving in the territory.

He has called on the Ministry of Agriculture and shipping corporations to check shipments before export to make sure the crops are fully cleaned and safe as well as meeting the quarantine requirements.

Samoa questions American Samoa's continued taro ban

The chief executive of Samoa's Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries said the taro virus that caused the ban has been found in crops from American Samoa.

Tilafono David Hunter said the ministry had a copy of test results from Hawai'i on the American Samoa taro which proved they had the same virus.

The two Samoas held talks in Apia last December and it was agreed a decision on lifting the ban would be made by March this year.

Call for freer border between Samoas

The call by the Member of Parliament for Urban West Faumuina Wayne Fong was made during discussion on the immigration law.

Faumuina said while travellers from all other countries were free to stay in Samoa for 90 days, American Samoans were not given the same privilege and he said that isn't fair.

The Prime Minister Tuilaepa Sa'ilele Malielegaoi told parliament the minute American Samoa removed its entry permits for Samoan citizens, Samoa would do the same for American Samoans.



Chocolatier to import cocoa from American Samoa

At present, Wilex, uses cocoa supplied by farmers in Upolu and Savaii, but company representative Nathan Wilson says it is also looking at supplies from American Samoa.

A cocoa tree planting programme was spearheaded by American Samoa's Department of Agriculture between 2008 and 2012 and cocoa plantations sprung up in Fagasa, Malaeloa and even in Manua.

Wilex exports chocolates and cocoa powder to New Zealand and Australia and is now promoting its products in the territory.


Samoa opposes American Samoa prisoner repatriation

Tialavea Tionisio Hunt told the Samoa Observer he would not entertain the notion of convicted Samoans being deported.

The idea of repatriation was flagged by American Samoa's police commissioner as a way to reduce numbers at the territory's overcrowded prison.

The commissioner Le'i Sonny Thompson said the majority of prisoners in American Samoa are Samoan nationals.