17 Feb 2005

American Samoa starts clean-up after Cyclone Olaf

11:46 am on 17 February 2005

Teams in American Samoa, will carry out an assessment of the full extent of damage in the capital Pago Pago this morning, in the aftermath of Super Cyclone Olaf.

Early indications suggest that damage was minimal but it won't be known until a report is carried out.

The territory's Emergency Operation Centre assistant public information officer, Jeff Basa says at this stage they've escaped relatively unscathed.

"Pago Pago, believe it or not, is planning to go back to a normal working day for government employees. There have been no reported injuries personell-wise. there is a release that will be going forward sometime today. If it continues to subside they'll likely close the shelters, but as of right now, there is little to indicate other than we had a storm come through."

The eye of Supercyclone Olaf crossed the territory's western outlying Manu'a Island group during the early hours of the morning.

Authorities have lost contact with the1600 people sheltering there after speaking to them earlier this morning.

The Emergency Centre's public information officer Daniel Fiu says says the only information they have on the residents on Swains Island in the north of the territory, is that they're "doing ok".

He says the centre can't contact Swains, but someone in Hawaii had managed to get through on the phone briefly.