NOAA specialists heading to Manu’a to investigate underwater volcano activities


A team of Specialists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are heading to American Samoa with instruments to analyze how strong the underwater volcano activities affecting Manu’a. 

Director of Homeland Security, Samana Semo Ve’ave’a says at the moment, the Emergency Operation Center in Ta’u and Ofu has been activated as of yesterday evening and they are sending in reports on an hourly basis with the latest one at 11 am today (Wednesday). 

According to the USGS, the earthquakes have been felt by residents of Taʻū (the largest of the Manuʻa group of islands) in American Samoa, for a few days and are ongoing that a team of experts is working on understanding the cause of these earthquakes, and will share more information when it is available in another Information Statement. 

“There is a chance these earthquakes are caused by a volcano, but an eruption like Hunga Tonga– Hunga Ha’apai in Tonga earlier this year is extremely unlikely. “If you are at the coast in American Samoa and feel a strong or long duration earthquake, see a sudden rise or fall of the ocean, or hear a loud roar from the ocean, a tsunami may follow and you should immediately move to higher ground. 

“The U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program is responsible for monitoring volcanoes in American Samoa. Current seismic monitoring capabilities are limited to a station in Apia and the U.S. Geological Survey is working on a plan to extend seismic monitoring to the island of Taʻū. “Residents can be of great assistance to these monitoring efforts by noting and reporting accurate times that they feel earthquake shaking to the National Weather Service Office in Pago Pago.” 

Furthermore, the USGS says that currently, the Samoa hotspot is thought to be beneath Vailuluʻu seamount, which is located about 45 kilometres (28 miles) east of Taʻū island.