PACIFIC ISLANDS REPORT

Pacific Islands Development Program/Center for Pacific Islands Studies

GOVERNOR TAUESE PREDICTS HURRICANE TO HIT AMERICAN SAMOA THIS YEAR

PAGO PAGO, American Samoa (October 1, 1997 - Samoa News)---Will a hurricane hit this U.S. Territory of American Samoa this year?

Well it all depends on to whom your listening.

Governor Tauese Sunia told a cabinet meeting recently that scientists and everyday observers of the weather scene both agree that "we are going to get hit and hit hard" this hurricane season due to El Nino.

Others, however, including Samoa News Editor Lewis Wolman, writing in his "Editor's Note" column do not necesssarily agree.

Nevertheless, the Governor said a special cabinet meeting would be held in the near future so that the Territorial Emergency Management Coordinating Office, which is charge of preparing for hurricanes, can brief everyone on emergency response procedures.

Governor Tauese also advised his cabinet members not to "be thinking --or commenting-- that a hurricane is economically beneficial" to the territory.

According to the governor, the traditionalist's forecast of a hurricane this year is based on the big breadfruit and mango harvest that American Samoa now is experiencing.

Such harvests, it is said, precede a "fuata taatia" --a harvest that involves picking the fruit from the ground after the trees have been flattened by a hurricane.

American Samoa has been devastated by three strong hurricanes in the last 10 years.

W ill there be one this year?

Everyone will just have to wait and see.

Stories from the SAMOA NEWS, American Samoa's daily newspaper, may not be republished without permission. To contact the publisher, send e-mail to >samoanews@samoatelco.com<.