NEOC activated to monitor Vailu’ulu’u underwater volcano situation


The Samoa Government has activated the National Emergency Operation Center to monitor very closely, the Vailuuluu underwater volcano situation.

“Vailulu’u is a conical seamount, the youngest and easternmost volcano in the Samoan Archipelago.

“This underwater volcano was discovered active in 2017 by an American Samoa Expedition of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

“The Samoa Meteorology Office is monitoring closely a continuing earthquake swarm occurring in the Manuʻa islands of American Samoa.”

The statement issued yesterday by the NEOC says this cluster of earthquakes is most likely related to Vailu’ulu’u seamount and/or the nearby submarine volcanoes in the American Samoa region.

“On August 08th 2022, the American Samoa Government Department of Homeland Security issued an Information Statement to activate their Emergency Operational Center (EOC) due to an increasing number of ground shaking activities reported in Ofu and Fitiuta of Manu’a.

“Since Wednesday, 10th August, a total of 41 tremors over the American Samoa region were picked up by the Samoa Meteorology Seismic Network, with magnitudes of tremors ranging from 2.3 to 3.6 in the richer scale.

“There have been ongoing discussions between the Samoa Meteorology Office, the American Samoa Weather Office, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) in Hawaii and the United States Geological Survey (USGS) since Thursday 11th August 2022 to share information and resources to better understand the source of these earthquakes.

“At this stage, it is unclear if this increase in seismic activities will escalate into a submarine volcanic eruption and/or trigger submarine landslides and generate tsunamis.

“However, the NEOC in the likelihood of a major seismic activity including a volcanic eruption and tsunami will facilitate and coordinate response preparations including awareness programs and provide regular updates to the public.

“The Meteorology Office will continue to monitor the situation and provide regular updates to NEOC for the information of the public. “Members of the public residing on coastal low lying areas are strongly advised to remain vigilant at all times and call NEOC on 997 or 32759 for more information.”

In the meantime, the American Samoa Government has moved to evacuate people from Manu’a.