American Samoa: Volunteers Arrive


American Samoa: Volunteers Arrive

Posted: 04 Oct 2009 07:14 AM PDT

Reported by Bob Howard from American Samoa

Map: American Samoa

Teams of young volunteers are:

  • hard at work learning to build temporary housing
  • registering survivors

51 Red Cross Volunteers arrived in American Samoa at 3 am local time Sunday on a C-17 plane from Hawaii.

The plane also carried items such as fresh produce and medical supplies.

Despite the destruction and deaths from the tsunami, 125 residents of American Samoa are volunteering with the American Red Cross.

They were joined early Sunday by:

The total Red Cross presence from the U.S. mainland and Hawaii now stands at 70.

Find out how they flew, where they’re staying, electricity status, and supply distribution methods after the jump.

With two commercial air flights per week from Hawaii, the American Red Cross and its partners in disaster response have relied on military flights. The flight on the C-17 lasted 5½ hours; an earlier flight on a C-130 lasted 8½ hours.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross are housed in a staff shelter in an open-air gymnasium on the campus of a Catholic youth center on the western side of American Samoa. Electrical power has been restored to the western side of the island, but the eastern side is still without. Running water is available, but it must be boiled for safety.

In addition to assisting with temporary housing and registering residents on the Safe and Well section of the American Red Cross Web site, volunteers are distributing clean-up kits from the Red Cross and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, helping residents of American Samoa to recover from the disastrous waves.

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