WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) announced today that cleanup and recovery efforts in American Samoa are making significant progress. At the same time, FEMA and other federal partners remain actively involved, bringing food, shelter, medical supplies and other assistance to meet the immediate needs of residents affected by last week's earthquake and tsunami.
"We continue to work with Governor Tulafono to support the priorities he has identified as the response in American Samoa progresses," said FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate. "Through the Federal Coordinating Officer, Kenneth Tingman, we are working closely with local leadership as well as our federal partners and non-profits, to meet the needs of survivors and begin the recovery."
FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Kenneth Tingman and American Samoan Governor Togiola Tulafono have already flown over the affected areas to view the damage and to identify any additional areas of immediate need in parts of American Samoa impacted by Tuesday's tsunami.
"When we arrived last week, our initial efforts were to ensure that the Governor and the people of American Samoa had all the life saving materials they needed. We are now focusing our efforts, under the direction of the Governor, to support their life supporting needs, as they continue to respond and recover," said FEMA Federal Coordinating Officer Kenneth Tingman. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to the individuals and families that have been impacted by this event, and we will continue working as a team with our territory and federal partners to respond to Tuesday's tsunami."
The information below represents the progress of resources and supplies into the island territory in the aftermath of the tsunami:
Federal responders from FEMA, American Red Cross, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Health and Human Services and other federal agencies are on the ground in American Samoa. The main priorities of the disaster operations remain focused on restoration of commercial power in the eastern district, and repairs and restoration of the region's infrastructure. Roughly 65,000 cubic yards of debris has already been identified for removal.
The United States Coast Guard (USCG), National Guard, and United States Navy have provided critical transport of the life-saving and life-sustaining supplies and equipment to meet the immediate needs of the survivors, including more than 26,000 meals, 14,000 liters of water, 1,800 blankets, 800 tents, more than 800 cots, and nine pallets of medical supplies in support of the territory's mass care operations. More than 20 generators have already been deployed to American Samoa, with several already supplying power to critical infrastructure. More generators are on their way, which will support communities and critical facilities.
FEMA and its federal partners are supporting the local government, which is distributing more than 3,500 meals a day. As FEMA and our federal partners continue to support the territory with a priority focus on life-safety activities, power restoration, and medical and shelter support, the agency is also preparing for recovery efforts. Recovery specialists, including Individual Assistance specialists and a housing planning team are being deployed.
FEMA and our federal partner, the General Services Administration, are in the process of locating and securing a facility where a Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) will be established. DRCs will connect affected residents with recovery specialists from federal, state and local agencies for personal, one-on-one assistance for those affected by the tsunami.
FEMA continues to coordinate with our federal partners, providing the following support to the region. Additional information on response and recovery efforts can be found below:
The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG):...