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Posted by on Sep 29, 2009 in Breaking News | 28 comments

Powerful Earthquake And Tsunami Hits America Samoa

UPDATE: Reports are dozens have  died, with chances of it exceeding 100.

A powerful earthquake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale has struck American Samoa and unconfirmed reports say a tsunami has hit the capital city. The quake was centered a deep ocean trench but caused considerable shaking on a number of islands. Waves of 10 to 15 feet high were reported by Eni Faleomavaega, the delegate who represents the area in Congress

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Copyright 2009 The Moderate Voice
  • prayers & thoughts to da families in am.samoa & w.samoa.

  • JeffersonDavis

    Ditto. My prayers go out to the victims. My wallet will too.

    American Samoa is an American territory. Let’s see how well the Obama administration handles this. Since the libs blamed Bush for Katrina, we may be blaming Obama for mishandling this disaster. Of course, the libs will make excuses, I’m sure.

    • “The libs” didn’t blame Bush for his handing of Katrina, the scene on the ground did. Tell that to the people who drowned and starved …oh wait, they’re dead as a result of Bush’s inability to handle the situation.

      • JeffersonDavis

        No, no, no, no, no. Our memories get really short as time goes by.

        The Governor and Mayor screwed up first. Their reluctance to react appropriately cost valuable time and (eventually) lives. Yes, FEMA screwed up as well. But it was a situation where everything went wrong. The Governor took her medicine when she was replaced by Jindal. Nagen, however, continues with not an ounce of remorse and without having taken a bit of responsibility for his inaction in the beginning.

    • JD, FEMA under Obama has done an exemplary job. But while “praying” for the victims, you simultaneously take delight in the possible political points to be made from a failure of disaster relief. I think you should take a look inside about whether you’re really living and espousing your values. In the last two posts I’ve visited, you’ve accused doctors of murder, shrugged off war crimes, and now tried to make a natural disaster about Obama.

      • JeffersonDavis

        I absolutely do not take delight in the failure of any disaster relief efforts. I was merely pointing out a possible hyprocracy. I’m not a “anything Obama does is wrong” type. I don’t agree with most of his politics, but I’d take a bullet for him – he’s my President.

        I stand by the statements about doctors.
        As far as war crimes, I just want there to be an even playing field. I’m tired of the US getting dogged for playing the counterintelligence game, when the likes of Chavez and Putin are given a free pass. I truly wish that crap would cease on both sides. If a soldier commits a war crime and dishonors America, he should pay for it. If a politician orders that crime, he too should pay for it. However, when the DoJ rules that “waterboarding” is ok, it’s hard to blame the executive branch for it. They were playing by the “rules” at the time. You can’t go back after the rules change and prosecute them.

        • JD, that is an admirable statement “he’s my president.” You know there are things I agree with you on and I find you a much more thoughtful and level headed commenter here than most of those here I spar with. Though off-topic, I’ll respond briefly to your last paragraph. I completely agree with you about “even playing field.” It is, in fact, the reason that the USA first proposed, ardently supported and fought for all the anti-torture treaties and international law. I’m proud that it was America that said NO to the torture and killings of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. It was the USA that fought and won, to have TORTURE JUSTIFYING LAWYERS prosecuted for their role in giving weak cover for inhuman acts. Remember it was US, the USA, that insisted that “just following orders” was not sufficient defense, AND that “just giving orders, not actually killing” was no excuse. OUR rules are that those who order it, those who justify it, and those who carry it out are ALL guilty of the crime. As for Chavez or Putin, we can’t do much about them, can we? But we can LIVE our values and insist that WE, the USA, do honor and follow the rule of law. And that whatever may be done by the despicable regimes we oppose, we will not JOIN THEM in their inhuman acts. My America is better than that.

          • JeffersonDavis

            Amen, brother.
            We have an accord.

  • pacatrue

    Meanwhile, here in Hawaii, we are under watch and I’m checking every few minutes if I need to get my son from school.

  • katlina

    prayers go out to all our families, friends and villagers in American Samoa..May God protect them thru times of disasters…

  • pacatrue

    Watch has been cancelled for Hawaii.

    • CStanley

      Glad your out of harm’s way, paca, and I hope that other locales are now out of danger too. How sad for those who’ve lost their lives or loved ones, or property, in Samoa…my thoughts and prayers are with them.

  • Father_Time

    Happened just befor noon central standard time. Slow news.

    Just had another M5- details:

  • lana_matai1987

    May the good lord be with all Samoan families thru these times of natural disaster. May he carry us through till danger leaves us.

  • lana_matai1987

    The University of Hawaii at Hilo Samoan Students are praying for their loved ones throughout the islands of American Samoa and Western Samoa.

    • pacatrue

      Mahalo nui loa

  • DdW

    Sad that some feel the need to do some poltical posturing and gotchas during what should be a time of praying and hoping.My thoughts and prayers are with those who are in potential danger.

  • archangel

    Tongan, prayer sung in. Please listen. It’s at the top of the page. The singing begins a few seconds in. Old Tribal harmonies. You could pray along with this beautiful singing.

    and… Pacatrue, I am so relieved to hear that they called off the watch/warning and glad you and your loved ones are safe tonight.dr.e

  • StockBoySF

    My thoughts are with all the victims.

  • May helping hands reach out to those in need in these tragedies..and may all be held in safety and strength each day and the months ahead. . .those that are needing assistance and those that are bringing and giving assistance. . .

    Thank you Dr. E. . . . a most soulful song for sending thoughts of goodness and prayer. . .most beautiful. . .

    and Jefferson Davis, perhaps this quote you might find interesting to think about as you release this day. . . .truly on days like this we don’t have to look very deep to know we are all in this together. . .

    “Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
    there is a field. I’ll meet you there.
    When the soul lies down in that grass,
    the world is too full to talk about.
    Ideas, language, even the phrase each other
    doesn’t make any sense.” Rumi

  • garyknowz1

    Let’s not turn this political while lives are at stake. I have several friends there. If I hear anything, I’ll post it.

    My heart and prayers go out to all the people of those beautiful islands.

  • superdestroyer

    Let’s look at the difference between Samoa and New Orleans.

    1. Cannot be used to embarrass the Bush Administration so American Sanoa much less important story.
    2. No compelling video, thus the news networks are uninterested.
    3. Craig Future holds a press conference and the media could not care less.
    4. Few if any of the media elite have ever been to American Samoa while they all had been to New Orleans.
    5. Bush criticized for not going to New Orleans within the first three days but President Obama will go to Europe instead. (I guess that President Obama does not care about Polynesian people) .
    6. No Polynesian grievance industry in the U.S.

    It will be humorous to read people like Greendreams making excuses for the Obama Administration. I guess that bucket just keeps getting heavier.

  • DLS

    I’m sure the Usual Suspects can blame Bush for what has happened, or what was “inherited” in the Pacific.

    Obama is too busy right now, anyway, with more important things (more important than health care “reform,” or maybe having Cuba take over the prison and prisoners there, who knows), for he’s stooping to an all-time lobbying as well as campaigning low right now on behalf of Chicago 2016.

  • I’m not going to participate in making this a Bush v Obama argument. For those concerned about FEMA response, here’s a link:

  • superdestroyer


    24 hours after an incidcent, shouldn;t the FEMA ships be pulling in and add being handed out. The Bush Administration was criticize because people did not prepare to be on their own for three days in New Orleans.

    Once again, where is the leadership from the White House. A press release is below a fly over.

  • heh. SD, everyone knows they did a heckuva job. The whole world.

    There’s no point even in responding to a controversy that doesn’t exist, but I’ll waste a sentence on it. Obama immediately declared an emergency, and involved Australia and New Zealand at once, because Samoa is in their back yard. Having THEM deliver aid is a whole lot more rational, which is why there is NO controversy over Obama’s handling of this.

  • superdestroyer


    As listed above, there are several reasons why Samoa cannot be as controversial as New Orleans. The national networks are spending more time on Kate and Jo than they are spending on American Samoa.

    Where is the press conference withe the FEMA director? Where is the presidential visit? Where is the telefon? Where are the bogus news stories about cannibalism I guess since there is no Polynesian grievance industry in the U.S., so that Kayne West, Spike Lee, Eurgene Robinson, etc will just not care about American Samoa.

    • SD, I can’t believe you want to revisit the shame of Katrina, but OK. In the case of Katrina, the hurricane had been tracked for weeks. Everyone knew it would be a category 4 or 5 storm that was headed for a major American city. The Bush administration had in hand a report from its own Corps of Engineers warning that the levees had not been maintained and could be breached. The rest is history and the world watched in horror.

      In contrast, the earthquake and tsunami in Samoa happened with no forewarning, no predictions, no reports of vulnerability of the island, which is as far from American supplies and help as it could possibly be. And of course no major American city was threatened. There is simply no comparison and you know it.

      While people were drowning in New Orleans, Repub Congressman Richard Baker said “We finally cleaned up public housing in New Orleans. We couldn’t do it, but God did.” Joseph Canizaro, wealthy Republican developer said “I think we have a clean sheet to start again. And with that clean sheet we have some very big opportunities.” Referring to the destruction of the public schools in New Orleans, Milton Friedman enthused about the opportunity for “permanent reform” of the school system and the American Enterprise Institute gushed “Katrina did in a day what Lousiana school reformers couldn’t do after years of trying.”

      Obama’s FEMA has faced several challenges this year. In every case, there has been praise, not horror stories. And unlike Bush’s FEMA during Katrina, this year’s disasters (flooding in Georgia recently, Florida in February) were not forewarned by weeks of watching them approach.

      Now look at the contrast in response. When Samoa was hit, Obama declared the emergency as soon as the facts were in, and the response was underway before we even had an assessment of the damage. Obama is smart enough to see that aid could arrive quickly from nearby Australia and New Zealand (of which Samoa was formerly a part) and coordinated aid efforts in the most rapid, effective way possible. The link in my first post shows the manpower and resources mobilized by the administration, which is not just adequate, it is considerable, especially with the small size of Samoa and the fact that it is not a state or major population center.

      Obama can take pride, not shame, from the response to all the weather-related natural disasters we have faced this year.

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