Hurricane Damages Isolated Islands of American Samoa
PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (AP) _ Hurricane Tusi, packing winds of up to 110 miles per hour, devastated two isolated island villages in this American territory and injured at least 18 people before moving away Sunday, according to radio reports.
In the village of Tau, 80 percent of the structures were damaged, while all structures in the village of Faleaso were reported damaged, according to reports on Pago Pago radio station WVUV. The two villages are on the island of Tau in the Manua island group about 60 miles east of here.
The U.S. Interior Department, which has jurisdiction over American Samoa, informed the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross of the damage, according to department spokesman Larry Morgan in Washington.
The storm critically injured one person, and 17 others suffered less serious injuries, said Paul Jones, who heads the Tau dispensary for American Samoa’s government hospital.
Tau’s electrical generator was knocked out during the storm, leaving the island with no fresh water, the radio reports said.
The island of Tau has a population of about 1,000. About 800 people live on Ofu and Olosega in the same island group. There were no reports of damage on those islands or at Tau island’s third village, Pituita.
At midday Sunday, the hurricane was located about 230 miles southeast of Pago Pago and moving away, said National Weather Service forecaster Dick Sasaki in Honolulu.
American Samoa has a land area of about 77 square miles. It is the only U.S. territory located south of the equator, and lies about 2,600 miles south southwest of Honolulu.