9 Jan 2004

American Samoa assesses financial impact of Heta

11:56 am on 9 January 2004

Officials are travelling throughout American Samoa in an effort to assess damage from cyclone Heta.

Crops and homes suffered damage, and schools and tuna canneries are expected to reopen next week after widespread power outages.

Ice has turned into a luxury item after water was cut off for most of the week.

Our correspondent Monica Miller says the acting governor Aifale Sunia has written a letter to president Bush asking for federal assistance, and in it, he makes an estimate of the likely economic damage.

"Preliminary estimates that the government has given us of the damages, is 150 million US dollars, that figure is in the acting governor's request to President Bush to declare American Samoa a federal disaster area."