ASG moves to evacuate the people of Manu’a


The American Samoa Department of Homeland Security this afternoon issued a Special Announcement confirming the evacuation of the people of Manu’a — due to the widely reported tremors that can be felt in the Manu’a Islands as a result of seismic activities from the Vailulu’u Undersea Volcano (Seamount).

“ASG will charter a flight to Manu’a on Saturday, August 13, 2022 to Fitiuta (Ta’u) Manu’a and then ‘Ofu to conduct assessments, outreach and support NOAA/USGS with the set up seismic equipment.

“ASG is extending the courtesy to allow residents from Manu’a to utilize this service to travel to Tutuila. Spaces will be limited, so please work with our local officials on Ta’u M.Tupuola and Ofu/Olosega Lameko Lualemaga. 

If you have any questions, please contact TEMCO-EOC at 699-3800 if you require additional assistance or support.”

Samoa News reported that some residents of Manu’a are calling on their Government to evacuate them.

The residents have taken their frustration and panic to social media, as they say the tremors are getting stronger — especially with a recent one on Wednesday night at 10 p.m.

American Samoa Department of Homeland Security (ASDHS) director, Samana Semo Ve’ave’a did not answer our calls for comments, but a statement issued on Thursday morning by the Emergency Operation Center indicated that “they are [at] partial activation status”.

“In the last 24 hours ASG personnel in Manu’a have reported approximately 10 tremors and also two loud booming sounds (most likely sonic booms) from off the coast of Ta’u Island.

The Emergency Operations Center (EOC) highly encourages the public, specifically those in the Manu’a Islands to remain vigilante and alert as the situation develops.

The public is also encouraged to contact the EOC if there are any questions, concerns or to report any changes pertaining to this event.

Police Commander of the Fitiuta Police Station, Kelemete Sunui told Samoa News that tremors are getting frequent and stronger.

“We have a lot of elderly people here in Ta’u, Fitiuta and Manu’a and therefore the Government should take appropriate actions and evacuate them in case anything happens, better to be safe than sorry,” he said.

Fitiuta Village Mayor Logoleo told Samoa News they are meeting with other village mayors and the Police Commander to decide whether to make an official request for evacuation.

He said the first tremor yesterday morning at 8:15 a.m was longer than the others about six seconds, but they have faith God will not forsake His people.

Samoa News also reached out to Lameko Lualemaga an official at the ASDHS in Ofu, for comments but was unsuccessful.

However he posted on his personal Facebook page updates regarding last night’s tremors informing the residents of Ofu and Olosega, there is no tsunami warning issued for the current activities occurring in the Manu’a islands.

“Please be patient. I will keep you updated when it is necessary for us to evacuate. But on the other hand, it is totally up to each and everyone to make decisions regarding your safety. Malo lava le onosa’i,” said one of his posts.

Taeafa Tupuola of Fitiuta told Samoa News, the tremors are getting frequent and stronger, but in his view, there is no need for the Manu’a people to panic.

“While there is a concern for families living along the coastline, but we are confident nothing will happen, we have experienced worst situations like the 2009 Tsunami, which started with an earthquake, but what [we] are experiencing here is nothing like that.

“It is true there are tremors on several times on the daily basis since it started but the tremors are not strong,” said Tupuola.