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President approves American Samoa’s major disaster request

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Gov. Lolo Matalasi Moliga announced Friday that US President Donald J. Trump has approved his request for a major disaster declaration for American Samoa following the Feb. 9 devastation left behind by Tropical Storm Gita.

Lolo said in a news release that the approval was released to him around 1:30p.m. Friday, through US Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) officials on island.

He explained that the major disaster declaration invokes and activates other federal assistance programs, which will provide help directly to the affected people, businesses and the American Samoa Government.  Additionally, these federal agencies will be on island soon to set up programs to ensure that all affected residents and businesses will be assisted.

Details relative to federal programs authorized by the Presidential Declaration will be available to the public and presented at a later date by Lt. Gov. Lemanu Mauga, who is also the Governor’s Authorized Representative to FEMA.

Lolo extends his gratitude and appreciation to the Servants of God for all the prayers and encouragement as well as the people of American Samoa for their patience and understanding.

He also express gratitude and appreciation to the president “for accepting my earnest request for a major disaster declaration to ensure that the needs of Americans of Samoan Ancestry and businesses victimized by Tropical Storm Gita are comprehensively addressed thus restoring hope for our people.”