2 Nov 2011

American Samoa's Manu'as cut off again

4:00 pm on 2 November 2011

American Samoa's outlying Manu'a islands are again running out of essential supplies, with the suspension of both sea and air transport links with the main island.

The government-run ferry MV Sili was grounded by the Coast Guard about two weeks ago for carrying too many passengers and a subsequent inspection has found faults in need of repair.

In May the Manu'a group went a month without transport to Tutuila and ran out of fuel and basic food items during an overhaul of the MV Sili's engine.

Our correspondent in Pago Pago, Fili Sagapolutele, says the Inter Island Airways plane that flies to the Manu'a group is also awaiting repair and it's not known when either flights or sailings will resume.

"We have received word that they're running short of your basic needs, there's bottled water, rice, sugar flour and there's also word coming about the possibility of running short on gasoline because we need to get a vessel over to transport those items and there is no vessel at all."

Fili Sagapolutele says it's not known whether the government plans to charter a ferry from neighbouring Samoa.