Territory rallies to provide relief for stricken Samoa
The American Samoa Government has started accepting relief supplies to help neighboring Samoa recover from the devastation of tropical cyclone Evan, which has so far killed four people, while eight are missing. (Read story below for information on other donation avenues.)
Last Friday, Gov. Togiola Tulafono issued a general memorandum, establishing an office within the Governor’s Office to assist Samoa with its recovery from the cyclone. He says the Office of Disaster Relief shall receive in-kind donations from the public, offered to provide direct aid to the victims of the cyclone.
The governor’s deputy chief of staff Motupaolo Laau Seui Jr. will coordinate efforts of this office and keep an accounting of donations collected and disbursed.
“Currently the most urgent needs of those affected by this disaster are clothing, non-perishable food and water,” said Togiola “As such, these items shall be the priorities as the office gathers donations and assembles resources. Monetary donations will not be accepted and may be directed to the Samoa Red Cross Society or some other relief organization.”
The governor’s memo came hours after he spoke on local radio stations saying that the government was coordinating relief supplies for Samoa with the first shipment planned for the MV Lady Naomi’s voyage to Apia Saturday morning.
Residents started dropping off their in-kind donations and by Saturday morning several pallets of water, clothing and other supplies were ready to be shipped to Samoa free-of-charge on the Lady Naomi.