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Re: Tsunami Advisory American Samoa National Park

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avatar Tsunami Advisory
September 29, 2009 04:24PM
A Tsunami Advisory is in effect which includes the coastal areas of California and Oregon from the California-Mexico border to the Oregon-Washington border. A Tsunami Advisory means that a tsunami capable of producing strong currents or waves dangerous to persons in or very near the water is imminent or expected. Significant, widespread inundation is not expected for areas under an advisory. Currents may be hazardous to swimmers, boats, and coastal structures and may continue for several hours after the initial wave arrival.

At 10:48 AM Pacific Daylight Time on September 29, an earthquake with preliminary magnitude 8.0 occurred in the Samoa Islands region. (Refer to the United States Geological Survey for official earthquake parameters.) This earthquake has generated a tsunami which could cause damage to coastal regions in a warning or advisory. The waves are expected to first reach Adak, Alaska at 7:25 PM AKDT on September 29. Estimated tsunami arrival times and maps along with safety rules and other information can be found on the WCATWC web site.

avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory
September 29, 2009 04:24PM
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory American Samoa National Park
September 30, 2009 06:20PM
Tsunami Spawned By Major Quake Slams Into Park

Shortly before 7 a.m. yesterday morning, an earthquake with a magnitude between 8.0 and 8.3 struck 120 miles from American Samoa, a U. S. territory with a population of approximately 65,000 people. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami that produced several large waves that destroyed the park’s visitor center and offices. Employees at the park fled uphill to escape the onshore surge. Some employees were overtaken by water, but were able to run through it to the safety of high ground. All employees and park volunteers are currently accounted for and safe. At least one park employee's residence was destroyed. Resource and facilities damage assessments are in progress. Personnel, including the Western All-Hazard Incident Management Team, are en route to provide assistance. FEMA is managing the overall response to this event. Fatality estimates for American Samoa range from one to several dozen people.

The cure for a fallacious argument is a better argument, not the suppression of ideas.
-- Carl Sagan
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory American Samoa National Park
October 01, 2009 11:40AM
National Park of American Samoa (AS)
Tsunami Update – All Employees OK, But Property Losses Severe

Shortly before 7 a.m. on Tuesday, September 29th, an 8.0 magnitude earthquake struck 120 miles from American Samoa, a U. S. territory with a population of approximately 65,000 people. The earthquake was followed by a tsunami that produced several large waves that destroyed the park’s visitor center and offices. All park employees and volunteers are accounted for and are safe. At least one employee's house and four employees' vehicles were destroyed by the tsunami. Fortunately, this event happened early enough in the day that most employees were not yet at work and were in areas of high ground that were unaffected by the wave impacts. The few employees who were at the office were able to run to the safety of high ground, although most of them had to run through water to get there. The park visitor center and all contents, including the park's curatorial collections, were destroyed. The entire park fleet of vehicles was destroyed with the exception of two vehicles. The extent of damage to park marine resources will not be known for some time. Undoubtedly there will be impacts to coral reefs and there will be significant amounts of debris in the water and along beaches. Most of the park terrestrial resources appear to be undamaged. Park staff initially assisted the U. S. Coast Guard with rescue and recovery operations on site and are currently engaged in assessing and providing for the well-being of NPS employees and volunteers. They have also been assessing damage to park facilities, salvaging equipment and cultural resources, and securing NPS property from looters. Park staff will be available to continue assisting with the broader FEMA-led recovery operation in the coming days. Park employees are doing a great job of keeping their spirits up and helping each other and the rest of the community through this difficult event. Special agent Neal Akana from Hawaii Volcanos National Park flew to American Samoa yesterday morning and has been acting as the NPS representative at the FEMA unified command meetings. He is working with superintendent Mike Reynolds to prepare for the arrival of the Western Incident Management Team, critical incident stress management personnel, and other support staff who will arrive tomorrow. A team of cultural resource specialists will be assisting with the assessment and recovery of cultural resources in the park and will likely assist with the broader recovery efforts on the islands.
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory American Samoa National Park
October 07, 2009 10:30AM
National Park of American Samoa (AS)
Update On Recovery From Tsunami

The National Park of American Samoa, supported by the Western Incident Management Team (Denny Ziemann, IC), continues to aid partner villages in recovery efforts following the tsunami that struck the island on September 29th. Crews totaling up to 50 staff and volunteers are working to remove debris from homes, roads and schools in five villages. The critical incident stress management team has contacted all of the park crews and some of their immediate family members. They continue to provide information and education on coping strategies for these types of incidents. By Thursday of this week, they will have had an opportunity to talk to more than 70 park staff. The families on the island are very close knit and their support of each other is encouraging to the peer support team. On Tuesday, the cultural resource team was medically cleared and fitted for respiratory protection for mold and other airborne contaminants that they may encounter inside the visitor center. The cultural resource team is working inside the building to inventory and remove herbarium specimens and archeological collections. Confined space monitoring conducted by the National Guard returned negative results for hazardous materials inside the building.
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory American Samoa National Park
October 09, 2009 11:50AM
National Park of American Samoa (AS)
Update On Recovery From Tsunami

Tsunami recovery efforts by National Park of American Samoa crews continue in several partner villages. Some staff who have been assisting the villages with cleanup since the day the tsunami hit will return to work next week. The park marine resource crew assessed submerged resources near Tutuila Island on Wednesday, finding no damage to park coral reefs. Manu’a Island natural resource assessments are scheduled for next week. Specialists continue recovery and treatment of cultural resources. Critical incident stress management debriefings are complete although the peer support team will continue interacting with staff. The Western Incident Management Team (IC Ziemann) is beginning to transition operations back to the park. The team is setting up resources for long-term incident management. The park is working with GSA to locate temporary visitor contact facilities and office space. Park maintenance staff will rebuild the maintenance facility next week.
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory
October 02, 2009 10:51AM
National Park of American Samoa (AS)
Salvage, Recovery And Assistance Operations Continue

Recovery operations continue at the National Park of American Samoa. Assisting are the Western Incident Management Team, two U.S. Public Health Service officers, two critical incident stress management counselors, three cultural resource specialists and an NPS special agent, all of whom are now in place on American Samoa. Park employees are salvaging cultural resources and park files and equipment and moving them to secure storage. Salvage operations will continue through today. Park staff continue to periodically assist the USCG with rescue and body recovery operations as the need arises. As the park begins to finish its salvage operations, park employees will be made available to assist the broader FEMA-led territorial recovery operation. The Hawaii Natural History Association has set up a Bank of Hawaii special donation account for assistance to park employees affected by this week’s natural disasters, as that bank’s branch in American Samoa survived without serious damage. Those wishing to donate can make checks payable to NPSA Employee Disaster Relief Fund, and for now, mail t Hawaii Natural History Association, PO Box 74, Hawaii National Park, Hi 96718. Information on how to make donations directly to the bank will be posted when available. The Pacific West Region and National Park of Samoa are grateful for all the offers of assistance that have poured in from around the country, including from many retired NPS employees. At this time, we are meeting our resource needs, but are keeping a list of those who have offered to assist. We will utilize that list should we require additional resources at a later time.
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory
October 08, 2009 05:18PM
Release No. 0502.09
Angela Harless (202) 720-4623


WASHINGTON, Oct. 8, 2009 - Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today highlighted USDA's continuing efforts to provide resources and assistance to the recovery operations on American Samoa after the recent tsunami.

"Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who have been impacted by this tsunami," said Vilsack. "We will continue to work with our partners at the Federal, State and local level to identify and expedite delivery of all resources we can offer to those who are in need."

USDA Forest Service personnel have completed surveys of fire stations for structural integrity and repair needs. Also, the USDA Service Center, which houses USDA's Rural Development, Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service offices, is not open due to severe damage. Personnel from these agencies have notified citizens of American Samoa through radio, newspapers and other means about how to reach these USDA offices. USDA personnel also are assisting the Federal Emergency Management Agency with developing a demobilization plan.

To date, USDA has mobilized the following resources for those affected by the disaster:

Food Assistance: USDA'S Food and Nutrition Service approved reimbursements so the American Samoan Department of Education could provide 9,000 meals per day at emergency feeding locations. Emergency meals potentially could continue for the next two months in the hardest hit villages and outlying areas. Additionally, USDA provided inventories of available USDA commodities located in Hawaii, California and the multi-food warehouses in case the food is needed. USDA also continues providing technical assistance to American Samoa as it assesses its disaster food assistance needs.

Housing Assistance: In order to support those affected by the tsunami, USDA Rural Development has placed a moratorium of six months for about 500 unsecured loans made though the Housing Repair and Rehabilitation Loan Program (Section 504). The total value of the home repair and home ownership loans in American Samoa is about $1.25 million. For more information contact the Centralized Servicing Center at (800) 414-1226.

Community Assistance: USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service made available $500,000 through the Emergency Watershed Protection (EWP) Program. These funds will provide emergency assistance to protect life and property through recovery measures such as debris removal from streams and stabilizing stream banks.

Farmer and Rancher Assistance: USDA's Farm Service Agency continues to gather limited information on crops. USDA has several disaster programs for qualified farm operators, including low-interest emergency loans, the Emergency Conservation Program and the Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program.

Food Safety: USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service advises consumers in the affected area to call the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline 24 hours a day at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854); for the hearing-impaired (TTY) 1-800-256-7072 for information about keeping food safe during floods and power outages.

Additional information and updates about USDA's American Samoa tsunami relief efforts are posted on the Web site at http://www.usda.gov/besafe .
avatar Re: Tsunami Advisory
October 14, 2009 04:14PM
National Park of American Samoa (AS)
Incident Management Team Winds Up Operations

The Western Incident Management Team is in the process of transitioning tsunami recovery operations back to the National Park of American Samoa. Cleanup operations will be scaled back and the park, with outside assistance, will take over management of operations. The cultural resource team was able to recover a substantial percentage of the collections and files originally thought beyond recovery. Park crews have made significant progress in removing debris from five partner villages, assisting many residents and several schools. The tsunami was a horrific event for all who experienced it. The critical incident stress management team was able to provide support to park staff and crews affected by the event. The emergency is over, but the people of America Samoa will be dealing with the impacts for years to come.
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