17 Sep 2002

American Samoan village commemorates disastrous fire with 24 hour curfew

5:11 pm on 17 September 2002

Roads in and out of the American Samoan village of Vaitogi have been closed as part of the annual observance of a 24-hour curfew.

The curfew commemorates a fire which raged through much of the village more than 100 years ago.

Villagers say the fire was not extinguished until heavy rain fell immediately after a special church service called by local chiefs.

Since then a curfew has been held every year and no one is allowed in and out of the village for 24 hours.

The government recognises the ban and it does not interfere with the barricades set up by the villagers.