American Samoa

American Samoa confirms nine measles cases

Of the nine, five are people who are travellers to the territory.

Epidemiologist Dr Aifili John Tufa announced the outbreak during a live broadcast fundraiser to help neighbouring Samoa's fight against the disease.

Dr Tufa later told KHJ News they believe there are other cases that have not presented at the hospital.

American Samoa ramps up immunisation efforts amid measles fears

On Thursday, Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga declared a public heath emergency meaning all travellers from Tonga and Samoa must show proof of MMR vaccination or immunity.

Although two health community centres at Leone and Amouli have been closed due to a nursing shortage, the Tafuna Community Health Center's hours have been extended and a local baby clinic is also administering shots.

The Department of Health's Aifili Dr John Tufa said immunisation was the best protection and was needed to keep the measles at bay.

American Samoa declares health emergency over measles

Governor Lolo Matalasi Moliga said the declaration covered the entire territory.

Lolo said effective immediately, all visitors entering American Samoa through Samoa or Tonga must provide proof of MMR immunisation, as a condition of entry.

All American Samoan residents travelling to affected countries would also be subject to Health Department screening.

The emergency declaration is valid for 30 days with the possibility of extension.

There are currently two suspected cases of measles in the territory.

Methamphetamine use at crisis levels in American Samoa

Fofo District faipule Andra Samoa said like many villages on the main island, Tutuila, her village of Leone is infested with ice, as the drug is known locally.

It has become so prevalent even elementary school children are using it, Ms Samoa said.

Dealers and users are widely known yet their operations continue with some being children of local matai, she said.

American Samoa clamp goes on medical drug brought in

 It follows the arrest of a Vietnamese woman, carrying, what police say, were pills containing cocaine and heroin.

An Tran Thi was found with the pills while she was returning to the territory after a trip to her homeland.

She travelled via Singapore and Fiji and was arrested after she landed in Samoa on her way to Pago Pago.

The Director for Homeland Security Samana Semo Veavea told KHJ news there's a pattern of mainly Asian travellers bringing in bags of medication of a quantity clearly not for personal use.

Search for American Samoan teens called off

It had been extended to midnight beyond the 72 hour search period which finished at 2pm yesterday.

The local senator Fai'ivae Iuli Alex Godinet said a big problem with the search had been the length of time getting the patrol boat to Utumea from its base at Fagatogo.

He said if there had been a boat based at nearby Leone they would have found the cousins well before the search period was up.

Fai'ivae said it may not have saved their lives but it would have given closure to the families.

Rising ocean flooding American Samoa's Aunuu

One resident, who did not want to be named said government leaders should come and see the damage for themselves.

The resident, who is a government worker, said last week the island lost power for several hours because ocean waves rolled into the area where the power generator plant is located.

Photos he took showed a road covered by rocks and debris thrown up by the sea.

The resident said people were worried about children getting caught by waves washing across the road.

American Samoa population drops

Government data released in August 2018 showed the territory's mid-year 2018 population was estimated at 59,600 - a loss of 700 people compared to July 1, 2017, while data released this week showed that the 2019 mid-year population is estimated to be 58,500.

The Statistics Division of the Department of Commerce said migration, increased mortality and a declining fertility rate were behind the drop.

The department said net natural growth increased at the lowest rate in two decades, with only 600 people added to the count this year.

Anger in American Samoa over donation to Manu Samoa

RNZ Pacific's correspondent reported that Facebook had lit up with criticism since the donation last Thursday.

One of the main complaints was that $US100,000 had been promised to the American Samoa National Olympic Committee for Team American Samoa at this month's Pacific Games, but only $US20,000 was given.

Other criticisms have included that people were still waiting for their tax refunds, there's a freeze on overtime and salary increments, and money should go to school improvements and roads, before it goes to a foreign rugby team.

North Korean 'sanction violator' arrives in American Samoa

The MV Wise Honest was stopped in Indonesia last year after it was found to be carrying coal in violation of UN sanctions.

Washington claims the 17,000 tonne ship's origin had been concealed, and it was also being used to import heavy machinery into North Korea.

The US Justice Department will investigate the ship in American Samoa's port capital of Pago Pago said the US Coast Guard's public affairs officer, Amanda Wyrick.